NetWellness is a global, community service providing quality, unbiased health information from our partner university faculty. NetWellness is commercial-free and does not accept advertising.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Is this pancreatic cancer?
Hi, My mom is 55 years old and has been suffering for several months with some serious symptoms. She has had a lack of appetite, nausea, extreme tiredness (she can sleep 20 hours a day), change in bowel movements, depression, itchiness (on her legs specifically) and has lost about 20 lbs in 4-5 months. She just moved to a new city and went to see a doctor who did some blood work. Her hemoglobin level was 88. Her doctor then sent her to have a CT scan done which showed a lesion on her pancreas. He has told her that it is pancreatic cancer, but he is only a family physician and does not answer any of her questions. In general, he has been very unhelpful. I am worried because everything I have read. Everything seems to say that speed of treatment is of the essence, and she is not getting in to see any specialist for at least a month. My question is, is there a good chance that this is pancreatic cancer or could it be something else?
I would have your family doctor refer her to either a surgeon specializing in pancreatic surgery or a gastroenterologist who can perform ERCP. You can find out what specialists are present in her city by going to various websites. One is Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Syed A Ahmad, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati