Stage 4 Cancer Survivor Dr Charles Majors shares his inspirational cancer story on how he overcame stage 4 cancer. Dr Charles Major had weeks to live as he .
After someone is diagnosed with bladder cancer, doctors will try to figure out if it has spread, and if so, how far. This process is called staging. The stage of a cancer describes the extent of the cancer in the body. It helps determine how serious the cancer is and . The stage is one of the most important factors in deciding how to treat the cancer and determining how successful treatment might be.
To determine the cancer’s stage after a bladder cancer diagnosis, doctors try to answer these questions: • How far has the cancer grown into the wall of the bladder? • Has the cancer reached nearby structures? • Has the cancer spread to the nearby lymph nodes or to distant organs? The stage of bladder cancer is based on the results of physical exams, biopsies, and imaging tests (CT or MRI scan, x-rays, PET scan, etc.), which are described in , as well as the results of .
Understanding your bladder cancer stage A staging system is a standard way for the cancer care team to describe how far a cancer has spread. The staging system most often used for bladder cancer is the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM system, which is based on 3 key pieces of information: • T describes how far the main (primary) tumor has grown through the bladder wall and whether it has grown into nearby tissues.
• N indicates any cancer spread to lymph nodes near the bladder. Lymph nodes are bean-sized collections of immune system cells, to which cancers often spread first. • M indicates if the cancer has spread ( metastasized) to distant sites, such as other organs or lymph nodes that are not near the bladder.
Numbers or letters after T, N, and M provide more details about each of these factors. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced. Once a person’s T, N, and M categories have been determined, usually after surgery, this information is combined in a process called stage grouping to assign an overall stage. The earliest stage cancers are called stage 0 (carcinoma in situ), and then range from stages I (1) through IV (4).
As a rule, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage IV, means a more advanced cancer. And within a stage, an earlier letter means a lower stage.
Cancers with similar stages tend to have a similar outlook and are often treated in much the same way. The staging system in the table below uses the pathologic stage. It is based on the results of physical exam, biopsy, imaging tests, and the results of surgery.
This is likely to be more accurate than clinical staging, which only takes into account the tests done before surgery. Bladder cancer staging can be complex. If you have any questions about your stage, please ask your doctor to explain it to you in a way you understand.
(An explanation of the TNM system also follows the stage table below.) Stage Stage grouping Stage description 0a Ta N0 M0 The cancer is a (Ta). It has grown toward the hollow center of the bladder but has not grown into the connective tissue or muscle of the bladder wall. It has not spread to nearby lymph nodes (N0) or distant sites (M0).
0is Tis N0 M0 The cancer is a flat, (Tis), also known as flat carcinoma in situ (CIS). The cancer is growing in the inner lining layer of the bladder only. It has not grown inward toward the hollow part of the bladder, nor has it invaded the connective tissue or muscle of the bladder wall. It has not spread to nearby lymph nodes (N0) or distant sites (M0).
I T1 N0 M0 The cancer has grown into the layer of connective tissue under the lining layer of the bladder but has not reached the layer of muscle in the bladder wall (T1).
The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes (N0) or to distant sites (M0). II T2a or T2b N0 M0 The cancer has grown into the inner (T2a) or outer (T2b) muscle layer of the bladder wall, but it has not passed completely through the muscle to reach the layer of fatty tissue that surrounds the bladder. The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes (N0) or to distant sites (M0).
IIIA T3a, T3b or T4a N0 M0 The cancer has grown through the muscle layer of the bladder and into the layer of fatty tissue that surrounds the bladder (T3a or T3b). It might have spread into the prostate, uterus, or vagina, but it is not growing into the pelvic or abdominal wall (T4a). The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes (N0) or to distant sites (M0). OR T1-4a N1 M0 The cancer has: • grown into the layer of connective tissue under the lining of the bladder wall (T1), OR • into the muscle layer of the bladder wall (T2), OR • into the layer of fatty tissue that surrounds the bladder, (T3a or T3b) OR • it might have spread into the prostate, uterus, or vagina, but it is not growing into the pelvic or abdominal wall (T4a).
AND the cancer has spread to a nearby lymph node in the true pelvis (N1). It has not spread to distant sites (M0). IIIB T1-T4a N2 or N3 M0 The cancer has: • grown into the layer of connective tissue under the lining of the bladder wall (T1), OR • into the muscle layer of the bladder wall (T2), OR • into the layer of fatty tissue that surrounds the bladder (T3a or T3b), OR • it might have spread into the prostate, uterus, or vagina, but it is not growing into the pelvic or abdominal wall (T4a).
AND the cancer has spread to 2 or more lymph nodes in the true pelvis (N2) or to lymph nodes along the common iliac arteries (N3). It has not spread to distant sites (M0). IVA T4b N0 M0 The cancer has grown through the bladder wall into the pelvic or abdominal wall (T4b). The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes (N0) or to distant sites (M0). OR Any T Any N M1a The cancer might or might not have grown through the wall of the bladder into nearby organs (Any T). It might or might not have spread to nearby lymph nodes (Any N).
It has spread to a distant set of lymph nodes (M1a). IVB Any T Any N M1b The cancer might or might not have grown through the wall of the bladder into nearby organs (Any T). It might or might not have spread to nearby lymph nodes (Any N). It has spread to 1 or more distant organs (such as the bones, liver or lungs) (M1b). T categories for bladder cancer The T category describes how far the main tumor has grown into the wall of the bladder (or beyond).
The wall of the bladder has 4 main layers. • The innermost lining is called the urothelium or transitional epithelium. • Beneath the urothelium is a thin layer of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. • Next is a thick layer of muscle. • Outside of this muscle, a layer of fatty connective tissue separates the bladder from other nearby organs. Nearly all bladder cancers start in the urothelium.
As the cancer grows into or through the other layers in the bladder, it becomes more advanced. The T categories are described in the table above, except for: TX: Main tumor cannot be assessed due to lack of information T0: No evidence of a primary tumor N categories for bladder cancer The N category describes spread only to the lymph nodes near the bladder (in the true pelvis) and those along the blood vessel called the common iliac artery.
These lymph nodes are called regional lymph nodes. Any other lymph nodes are considered distant lymph nodes. Spread to distant nodes is considered metastasis (described in the M category). Surgery is usually needed to find cancer spread to lymph nodes, since it is not often seen on imaging tests. The N categories are described in the table above, except for: NX: Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed due to lack of information.
N0: There is no regional lymph node spread. M categories for bladder cancer The M categories are described in the table above.
best dating a cancer survivor stories stage 4 bladder infection - Stages 1
Bladder cancer begins when cells in the urinary bladder start to grow uncontrollably. As more cancer cells develop, they form a tumor. Most bladder cancers start in the innermost lining of the bladder, the urothelium. As cancer grows into or through the other layers in the bladder wall, it becomes more advanced and can be harder to treat.
The bladder’s main function is to store urine before it leaves the body. Urine is made by the kidneys and then carried to the bladder. When you urinate, the bladder muscles contract and urine is forced out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra.
Bladder cancers are often described based on how far they have invaded into the wall of the bladder: • Non-invasive cancers are still in the inner layer of cells (urothelium) but have not grown into the deeper layers. • Invasive cancers have grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall.
These cancers are more likely to spread and are harder to treat. A bladder cancer also can be described as superficial or non-muscle invasive. These terms include both non-invasive tumors as well as any invasive tumors that have not grown into the main muscle layer of the bladder.
Causes & Symptoms of Bladder Cancer It's not always clear what causes bladder cancer. Bladder cancer has been linked to smoking, parasitic infections, radiation, and chemical exposure. There are three types of bladder cancer: Transitional cell carcinoma Occurs in the cells that line the inside of your bladder. Transitional cells expand when your bladder is full and contract when your bladder is empty. These same cells line the inside of your ureters and your urethra, and tumors can form in those places as well.
Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer in the United States. Squamous cell carcinoma Is in response to infection and irritation. Over time they can become cancerous. Squamous cell bladder cancer is rare in the United States. It's more common in parts of the world where a certain parasitic infection (schistosomiasis) is a prevalent cause of bladder infections. Adenocarcinoma Begins in cells that make up mucus-secreting glands in the bladder.
Adenocarcinoma of the bladder is rare in the U.S. Bladder cancer symptoms may include: • Blood or blood clots in the urine • Pain or burning during urination • Frequent urination • Feeling the need to urinate many times throughout the night • Feeling the need to urinate, but not being able to pass urine • Lower back pain on one side of the body Who Gets Bladder Cancer Whites are about twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as African-Americans and Hispanics.
Asian Americans and American Indians have slightly lower rates of bladder cancer. … About 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are older than 55. … Bladder cancer is much more common in men than in women. Taking the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) for a long time can irritate the bladder and increase the risk of bladder cancer. People who are treated with radiation to the pelvis are more likely to develop bladder cancer. Prognosis if You Have Bladder Cancer According to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database: • The 5-year relative survival rate for people with Stage 0 bladder cancer is about 98 percent.
• The 5-year relative survival rate for people with Stage I bladder cancer is about 88 percent. • For Stage II bladder cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 63 percent. • The 5-year relative survival rate for Stage III bladder cancer is about 46 percent. • Stage IV bladder cancer has a relative 5-year survival rate of about 15 percent. Still, there are often treatment options available for people with this stage of cancer. Protocols: How to Treat Bladder Cancer The Cellect-Budwig protocol is one of the top natural cancer treatments that can be done at home.
It has been shown to be effective against every type of cancer. It contains alkalinity (to slow down the spreading of cancer), things that build the immune system and things that can kill cancer cells. • Primary: • Required addition: High RF Frequency Generator Depending on the stage of cancer and other factors, conventional treatment options include: • Surgery • Intravesical therapy • Chemotherapy • Radiation therapy • Immunotherapy How to Prevent Bladder Cancer You cannot prevent bladder cancer. However, you can reduce the risk of getting it.
Stop smoking. Cigarette smokers are much more likely to get bladder cancer than nonsmokers. Avoid exposure to industrial chemicals, such as benzene substances and arylamines. Occupational exposure from working with dyes, rubbers, textiles, paints, leathers, and chemicals raises your risk for bladder cancer. Avoid exposure to arsenic. Have your drinking water tested. Eat healthy foods. Experts believe that what you eat and drink may help prevent bladder cancer.
Immune System Health A healthy immune system remains your body's best defense. Not only is a weak immune system a major reason patients have cancer — and cancer itself can further weaken the immune system. Beta glucans help regulate the immune system, making it more efficient. In addition, beta glucans stimulate white blood cells (lymphocytes) that bind to tumors or viruses and release chemicals to destroy it. has been approved in Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan as an immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer.
In fact, helping with cancer is just the beginning with Beta Glucan. There have thousands of studies showing the product can protect against infections, lower your cholesterol, lower blood sugar, reduce stress, increase your antibody production, heal wounds, help radiation burns, overcome mercury-induced immunosuppression (like Thimerosal, used as a preservative in vaccines), help with diabetes, and even naturally prevent metastasis (or the spreading of your cancer).
Harvard Medical School suggests following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy: • Don't smoke. • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat. • Exercise regularly. • Maintain a healthy weight. • Control your blood pressure. • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
• Get adequate sleep. • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly. • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category. More Information: Healthy Diet Your diet plays a role in a healthy immune system. The top vitamins your immune system needs to perform include: • — helps to repair and regenerate tissues and aids in the absorption of iron • Vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection • Vitamin B6 — supports adrenal function and is necessary for key metabolic processes • Vitamin A — aids immune function and helps provide a barrier against infections • Vitamin D — modulates cell growth, promotes neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation • Folate — key in development of red blood cells (a lack of folate can make the body susceptible to cancer) • Iron — helps your body carry oxygen to cells • — slows the body's overactive responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer • Zinc — slows the immune response and control inflammation in your body Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK
Hi, A week ago my mom was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer stage 4. I am looking for survivors. Anyone who knows a survivor. I know the statistics, the doctor has already given us a time frame, and the oncologist has told us to go for "quality of life".
If there are any survivors or if you are having successful treatments I would like to hear from you. What have/are you doing right? Where did/are you getting treatment? Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Hi, I too was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer stage 4 in the fall of 2005. My husband later told me that I was given a short time frame also.
Well they were wrong! I had aggressive chemotherpy for almost a year to shink my turmor so that they could operate on my gallbladder, liver, stomach and removal of lymph nodes.
I have a great oncologist in Las Vegas, Nevada and had my surgery at UCLA in California. I completed my chemo in March 2007. I never lost my HOPE or FAITH and no doctor should ever be allowed to take away your HOPE. If I can help answer any questions just let me know. It is a hard road but it is worth it. Every day becomes a blessing. • or to post comments Hi. My mom was diagnosed with stage IV gallbladder cancer about 6 hours ago.
It is "attached" to the liver and she has extensive lymph node involvement from the neck through the groin. One month ago, we golfed and shopped together all the time.
Now the doctors are hinting that chemo won't do much to help her. Searching the Internet didn't give me much hope ... until I found you. Could you please let me know what type of chemo you had and how you tolerated it.
Also, did you have a lot of pre-treatment pain? My mom has had severe pelvic pain for the last few weeks, which is constant and debilitating. Her oncologists gave her oxycotin (sp??), which will probably only debilitate her more. I know she doesn't want to suffer through chemo if she's only got a month or two left (nor do we want her to suffer needlessly either), but you don't know about effectiveness until you try; right? Would you be able to give me more details about your incredible survivor story?
These details will help us with this life-altering decision. Also, I would love to hear more from the other posters on this site about what worked for them and what didn't; what kind of chemo they're trying; any side effects; and basically anything else that could help with pain management, nutrition and overall survival.
Thank you for your encouraging story and for (hopefully) getting back to me. Kathleen • or to post comments Hi, Lily, Thank you so much for offering your words of hope. I have stage IV metastatic gallbladder cancer. I am only 64, and lost my husband to cancer less than 8 months ago.
After removing my gallbladder and discovering the cancer, I had an exploratory surgery where they tried to resent the liver and remove the tumors. They were not able to do so, since the cancer had metastitized. My oncologist wants to use weekly Gemzar to try to shrink the tumors. May I ask what your chemo was? Jan • or to post comments My brother has stage four Gall Bladder Cancer and the oncologist who just informed us of this last Friday July 30, 2010, we are still in shock over this.
He has had one hard time of it with two lesions on the liver. He will be getting Gemzar as well with two weeks on and then one week off. His Doctor said that at the end of 90 days they will do a MRI or PET scan to see if the tumors have shrunk at which time the surgeon who did the laprascopy will operate to remove the gall bladder and re-section the liver, the othe possibility will be the new cyber knife radiation with only three to five treatments, he has been suffering with blood clots in the lungs as well as the right leg.
He also had a stint put in the bile duct which was filled with stones, his jaundice is about gone, He is now in rehab trying to get stronger for the Chemo! He also had to have a filter put in his abdomen for the blood clots. He started out with a dry hacking cough in March which probably was lung blood clots, nothing was found until July, he has lost 35 pounds and had no appetite. His Doctor gave him antibiotics and cough meds, not looking any further into his problems. He also is getting over a bad blood infection.
On the bright side, if there is one,he has come thru all of this, and regardless of the outlook I believe he is going to make it, where there is life there is Hope.
He is one of the most wonderful people you could ever meet. If anyone needs a great surgeon dealing with the liver her name is Dr. Ellen Hegopian and she is at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, she found my brothers problem in less then 48 hours after being admitted. I just wish we had had her in March or April when he may of been stage three ....
Good Luck with Genzar and keep in Touch. • or to post comments Hello and welcome to this forum. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother and this terrible diagnosis. I am a gall bladder stage IV cancer survivor. Ask me anything you want and I'll try to answer.
Quite a number of us also had lesions on the liver. Sounds like he is receiving the standard protocol for this disease. Gemzar is a very good chmo drug and has shrunk many turmors for others. He has already experienced many hills and valleys and is fighting a tough fight. I wish him well and with everyday that passes he will get stronger for his chemo battle. It amazes me that many doctor's miss the signs of this disease. It takes a caring and compassionate doctor to find these issues and it is usually in a very short time frame.
There are some bad doctor's, some good doctor's and then there are some great doctor's. If we are lucky enough to find them they can ultimately save our lives. Dr. Hegopian sounds like a great one! Hope & Faith will carry you through on this journey. Take Care Lily • or to post comments my dad has just been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer and is 81 .
He hasd the body of a 60 year old always very active and never sick a day in his life or on any medication. Things see dire as the doctors are telling us he has advanced cancer. We are going to an oncologist /hematologist now and he is going to do a ct guided biopsy on hios lymph node in his neck.
He has other smalll spots in his body the largest being a 3cm by 2cm enhanncing mass on the left posterior pelvis between the posterior aspect of the urinary bladder and the left seminal vesicle.
He has a fullness in the lower right and left quadrant and some dull fullness n the right lowe back. when he sits he has to do softly as he feels pressure near his tailbone.
He lost 15 pounds but other than that so far those are all his symptons. I am in the nj area and was wondering what I should do from here. I want to find a gallbladder cancer specialist but that is rare to find. i am willing to travel to NYC.
Any suggestions would help as I don't know where to turn right now. • or to post comments Hi, Hope your wife's treatment is progressing well. Please accept my best wishes for her healthy and quick recovery. My father was diagnosed with inoperable Stage IV Cholangiocarcinoma in May 2015.
He was brought to the hospital in a severely jaundiced condition and ever since the doctors have placed 2 stents to relive the biliary obstruction. His bilirubin levels are at 5 now, but had reached 24 at one point of time.
His oncologist have told us that they can't start chemotherapy until the bilirubin level falls below 2.5 atleast. His general condition has become very weak, as he has lost around 12 kgs of weight in the last 7 weeks itself.
We are based out of Delhi, India. I'm looking for further guidance. • or to post comments hi my mom was diagnosed GBC how did you beat it? she has liver mets, and her ca19-9 is 1200. fortunately she has big operation tomorrow, cause we found the doctor willing to try he is probably no 1. european abdominal surgeon, with over 1000 liver transplatations up to date. if you have any tip, write back thanks • or to post comments This is my first post.
Or so I think. Not sure how to use this. My mother has been diagnosed with stage IV gall bladder cancer and just started undergoing chemo a few days ago. If she does do well, do you think we could have her gall bladder taken out? I could give her half of my liver and a kidney if she needs one, my sister could give her another kidney.
And I saw a clinical trial about zapping spinal tumors with radiation and chemo to get rid of them. She could also have the affected lymph nodes removed and that would just leave her with a little bit of pancreatic cancer. Just a small spot. I know this sounds WAAAAY out there but, if you or anyone has heard of success with this, PLEASE let me know and direct us to the right people.
If not, I will let you know what I find out so at least some progress can be made with this horrible cancer. It's great to meet you all. I wish it were under better circumstances. • or to post comments You did just fine on your posting. I so sorry about your mother.
This is a terrible disease. What type of Chemo is she receiving and how often? This can be a very aggressive cancer and treatment will need to be aggressive.
She has many options in front of her and you need to be comfortable with the doctor's that are treating your mother. I do believe in second opinions. The liver is one of the organs in the body that can re-generate after surgery if the damage isn't too extensive. When the cancer has spread to other organs it is best to find the most qualified surgeon possible. It isn't really way out there it is just that there is so much information on the Internet and some of it is old and outdated.
I am a survivor-4 years and I had a great Liver surgeon at UCLA. Read my profile and you will find that your thoughts are not WAAAAY out there. I have heard of many different stories accross the country about great places.
Take the time to read all the posts you can, people are very forthcoming when they are being treated well for this disease. East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) just let us know what side of the country you are in and we will try to help. You and your Mother are in my prayers. Lily • or to post comments Thank you for your quick response, Lily. We are actually in Austin, Texas. I have only found one clinical trial near us that has to do with gastrointestinal cancers (that my mother would qualify for) and it is in San Antonio.
I'm not sure about the type of chemo she is receiving. I'll be taking her to her second appointment for it on Thursday and I will have PLENTY of questions for the doctor. I was going to ask him about what I mentioned above and I will also ask him about the type of chemo she is already receiving.
I'm so glad that you made it and that you are now helping others! THANKS, LILY! = ) Off to check out your profile! • or to post comments Hi Katie, I currently talk to two other caregivers that are in Dallas, Texas. They are gwc345 (her mother) and LisaR3159 (her friend). They might have some suggestions for you since they are kinda in your area. Send them a private message and let me know if you get no response. I don't know how often they come to this site as they now just Email me at LGregg6293@Aol.Com.
We tend to have long conversations and it just is easier. If you would like to Email me just put ACS-CSN in the subject line so that if it ends up in Spam I can add you to my contact list. Hope Thursday went well and wasn't too overwhelming. Never stop asking questions. If you don't help your mother be her own health advocate then she won't feel that she is in control of this situation.
Ask me anything and I will try to help the best I can. Take Care Lily • or to post comments I am also in Austin, TX and my Mom, 70 yoa, was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer in June, after the gallbladder was removed.
It has already compromised the liver, lymph nodes, lungs and abdomin (sp). She just finished a chemo treatment of 4 cycles over 21 days with cisplatin and gimzar. I was able to find a study in SA that we are traveling to hear about tomorrow. Can you tell me how your Mom is doing and if you were able to find something that helped ? Due to very very very low blood counts, the chemo was reduced to 60 % and she was not able to handle the last cycle at that.
Has anyone here ever gone to Cancer Treatments of America in OK ? Please, we have hope. Susan • or to post comments Hi Janet, Welcome to this discussion board! There are some really great people that you can talk to here. I am a survivor of this terrible disease, and you can be too. I was diagnosed in 2005,had chemo treatment 2005/2006, surgery 2006, chemo 2007 and I can proudly say I am in remission.
This is a disease that is coming to the forefront. I know that when I was diagnosed I was told there were no other cases out there. There were but the doctor's didn't know about us. What chemo cocktail are you being given, and how many sessions? Have you had any surgery yet or radiation? Tell us what is going on and we can try to help you. Where are you located?
It is wonderful when you can talk with someone who is in your area if possible. You are not in this alone, talk to us. Take Care Lily • or to post comments My mom went in to have her gallbladder removed and they found that an area of her gallbladder was "suspicious" , as well as a couple spots on her liver.
It is cancer. Did your doctor tell you upfront that surgery was an option or not? What kind of chemotherapy regimen were you on? How large were your tumors to begin with and what did they want to shrink them to in order to surgically remove them? I understand that they need to do chemo first to shrink the areas. It seemed like the doctors that I spoke with thought surgery may not be an option?
I sometimes feel like they are afraid to say anything and all I have is a million questions! My mom is in fantastic health otherwise!!! Any help you can offer would be so greatly appreciated! ~Kellie • or to post comments My mom went in to have her gallbladder removed and they found that an area of her gallbladder was "suspicious" , as well as a couple spots on her liver. It is cancer. Did your doctor tell you upfront that surgery was an option or not? What kind of chemotherapy regimen were you on?
How large were your tumors to begin with and what did they want to shrink them to in order to surgically remove them? I understand that they need to do chemo first to shrink the areas. It seemed like the doctors that I spoke with thought surgery may not be an option? I sometimes feel like they are afraid to say anything and all I have is a million questions! My mom is in fantastic health otherwise!!! Any help you can offer would be so greatly appreciated! ~Kellie • or to post comments Hi Kellie, Welcome to our small but strong group of Gallbladder Cancer patients, caregrivers, loved ones and survivors.
In alot of cases when they remove the gallbladder it is then that they determine that cancer is present. Yes, I was told in the begining that surgery was not an option at this time, nor radiation. We would have to get shrinkage in the tumors which were quite large, my liver was comprimised therefore no radiation. I just kept after my oncologist because I needed him to refer me out of state to a surgeon.
Where I live there was no one qualified to do this type of surgery. I ended up with a Liver Transplant Surgeon at UCLA in California. He also told me two times when I went to see him that no he wouldn't do the surgery. On the third time after 11 months of chemo for whatever reason he said yes. I still had cancer cells in some of the lymph nodes that they removed so I had to complete an additional 3 months of chemo.You have to fight and be an advocate for your own healthcare.
My chemo cocktail was Gemzar and Cisplatin. I went 4 days a week (5-8 hours) three weeks then I would have a week off. I had to have both white and red blood cell shots in between those times, when my counts we too low. I started my chemo December 28th, 2005, surgery October 13, 2006 (Friday the thirteenth), last chemo March 31, 2007. I still see my oncologist every month and have blood drawn. I was receiving Ct Scans every three months until this year. Yes, I do glow in the dark!
I think that doctors are very cautious when dealing with this disease as the statistics are outdated and this disease is coming to the forefront. I'm glad that your mother is beginning this journey without any other major medical problems. I too was in relative good health when I started and I was only 46 years old. My email address is LGregg6293@Aol.Com if you would prefer to speak via email.
Just make sure you put ACS-CSN in the subject line so it won't end up in my spam folder. Ask me anything you would like. Take Care and I will add your mom to my prayer list. Hope and Faith will carry you through. Lily • or to post comments Hello Lily, This is my first time on this site and I'm really not sure if I am posting properly.
I am so happy that are now cancer free. Reading your story gives me hope for my grandma. We live in Toronto and have found out that she has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 Gall Bladder cancer. It all started with the doctors finding a tumor in her gall bladder that was all removed and doctors telling us everything was fine.
She went back to the doctors 3 months later and they found cancer in her gall bladder area. Something about lymph nodes and the cancer spreading to her lungs. I don't understand how this can be stage 4 all of a sudden. The doctors told her she only has 8-10 months. My grandma is currently 69 and I am really hoping she goes to get chemo therapy and whether this will help rid of the cancer.
I am staying positive and I am wishing for the best. Please help thank you.. • or to post comments Hello Lily, how is your grandma? My husband is excatly same case. His Gall Bladder was removed last year.
He was diagnosed with stage 4 Gall Bladder cancer.After 4 section of chemotherapy he was just fine. His CT, MRI and PET test was negative. Just 2 month ago my husband's skiny and eyes turned yellow. They took him to the hospital and he had a surgery, they put stand in his bile duct. Doctor who operated on him is telling me he has max 8 month to live.
His oncology doctor wants to give him more chemotherapy and radiation because there is another tumor in his bile duct and his omenta is full of positive cancer cells. He is only 57 years old. I am so angry and confused. I am still looking for some alternative medicine, green juices. Please, help. Thank you. • or to post comments I was reading your post and was so happy to see that you are cancer free!
I am sure that is a wonderful feeling. My mom is undergoing chemo for gallbladder cancer and we will know the week of October 11th-ish how well her chemo treatments are working. I pray everyday that she will receive the same news as you soon! Thank you for your positive post - gives people hope! Take care of yourself!
Kellie • or to post comments I was reading your post and was so happy to see that you are cancer free! I am sure that is a wonderful feeling. My mom is undergoing chemo for gallbladder cancer and we will know the week of October 11th-ish how well her chemo treatments are working. I pray everyday that she will receive the same news as you soon!
Thank you for your positive post - gives people hope! Take care of yourself! Kellie • or to post comments Hi Lily, Thank goodness I found you and to hear that you are GBC survivor!
Internet and the information shared by the oncologist did not give us the best future for this cancer. My mom who is 66 years young has been diagnosed on Sept.3, 2010 with stage 4 GBC that has metastasized to liver. The oncologist said no surgery due to the type of cancer.
She’ll start her chemo combo of Gemcitabine and Oxaliplatin next week. Is this the standard protocol of treatment for this cancer? Is there anything else that can be considered “more aggressive” to treat this cancer? What else can we do for my mom? I want to make sure that we are looking into all options so that my mom has a greater chance to fight this thing. She lives on the north side of Chicago and if anyone knows of a great oncologist, that would be great start to get her a second opinion.
Also, can anyone tell me about the experienced side effects from this chemo combo and how you coped so that I can prepare to help my mom after her treatments? Thanks, Tina. • or to post comments Hello Tina, What a great daughter you are to your mother for taking the step towards finding information to help your mother with this terrible disease. Thank goodness with all the negativity out there that you found this site. This thread has been going on for over a year and there are others that have also survived this terrible disease or are in the midst of the fight.
We are all here for each other. Hope, faith, support, whatever one needs to fight the fight for their life. This is a terrible disease and there hasn't been alot of attention paid to it because statistically most people when they are diagnosed with it may be too late for curative purposes according to doctors. But I say there is only one who can make such a decision and he/she doesn't live in this world.
If you have read other postings you will see that your mom's diagnosis is pretty much the same as others. Each individual is different but the general consensus is the same. Some of us have heard the dreaded "No Surgery" for this type of cancer. I too fell into that catagory but it wasn't acceptable to me and some others. We all had different situations but in the end a few of us did receive the surgery after we originally we told "No".
It is very important to receive second opinions and to have the attitude that we could beat this. You mom is around the age of most of the patients that I speak to with a few exceptions. The chemo cocktail she will be receiving is the standard protocol at this point. Gemzar and one of the platin series seems to be what everyone is receiving.
I started with Gemzar and Cryboplatin and then was switched to Gemzar and Cisiplatin. I now know that there is a Cisiplatin shortage currently. I had what was classified as very aggresive treatment. I had treatment daily for two weeks and then a week off for 11 months.
It was tiresome. Hydration is a key, along with healthy eating, phyical exercise as tolerated. I will review my list and see if anyone has a suggestion for you regarding an oncologist that they have faith in. Everyone tolerates chemo differently and yes there are side effects. Fatigue is a big one, hair loss (can be a really big one - was for me), loss of appetite, and the list goes on. You can't approach the chemo with waiting for the side effects to kick in.
You just need to address them as they happen. Mediation helps alot and yoga. Talk to us with your questions as you experience them with your mother and we will try and give you advice based on our own experiences. Take Care of mom and yourself. Lily • or to post comments Hi Lily, My mom (and family) received great news that her chemo treatment is working after her first CT scan since her diagnosis!
Before this news, she was ready to die but now she has turned a new leaf and ready to live again! Her determination to fight this disease can be seen as she’s eating and drinking and trying to gain the weight back!
It’s amazing to see this change! I want to share this news with you because you have been a great support system for me since my mom’s diagnosis when I thought there was no light at the end. You provided me the strength to be able to tell my mom that she has to have faith and hope! Thank you for starting this blog or all of us!!! I’ll keep you posted as she continues with her treatments!!! Best Regards, Tina.
• or to post comments Hi Tina, That is wonderful news! I'm so happy for your Mom, you and your entire family. This disease needs to be treated with a positive mindset. It is such an uphill battle sometimes but you can't let it drag you down.
Taking it day by day and hoping for no setbacks is all you can ask for. Thanks for sharing as others read these posts and even though they may not comment on them it is a ray of hope for others too. Keep us posted and tell her I wish her well. Take Care Lily • or to post comments Hi Lily 50, I live in Australia and my mum was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer in February 2010 since then she has had four major surgeries to remove her gallbladder half of her liver, reconstruction of the bile ducts and also had a very large tumor removed from her abdomen.Mum has also had 3 months of chemo ranging from iv once a week to having a pump the delivers chemo everyday and well as 6 weeks of radiation therapy 5 days a week.
Her cancer spread to her liver, stomach lining, abdomen and some lymph nodes. I feel that maybe she doesn't have much time left. I have researched and there is just hardley any information about this cancer.
I hope that you are still doing well, and if there is any advice you could give me on the name of the chemo you had I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much Nat • or to post comments Hi Nat, I'm so sorry to hear about your mum.
You are a very caring to try and help your mum in any way that you can. It is good that your mum has already had these surgeries. That means to me that her turmors were small enough to do those types of surgeries. Chemo and radiation at the same time has to be taking its toll on her. This type of cancer seems to involve the gallbladder, liver, stomach and lymph nodes. Those are all the same places that my cancer had traveled to. If you read the other posts those organs are almost always involved, depending on the stage of the cancer.
This is a disease that you have to have positive thoughts about and have hope and faith. When I was diagnosed I was told 2 weeks, 2 months was the timeframe and 5 years later I am still here. Doctors can be wrong and you have to remember that you mum sounds like a very strong lady and I'm sure that she doesn't want this disease to beat her. Most of the information on the Internet is quite outdated.
I know several people who were given a short time frame also and they are still with us. I am doing very well and hope to continue to do so. The chemo cocktail that I received was Gemzar and Cisplatin. I didn't have radiation as my liver couldn't handle it. Hope and Faith will carry you through this journey. Take Care Lily • or to post comments hi lily...
my father diagnosed a gall bladder cancer a month ago..since that day we all are vary upset find no way. but the source of hope is Shifa international hospital Islamabad,Pakistan his oncologist start his chemo therapy,,until now 1 cycle have been completed and other will be tomorrow. first is consist of Gemzar, decadon, zafan. i personally want to contact you through phone or skype etc.i shall be vary thankful to you remember my father in your prayers and may Allah give you a happy,properous life regards inam +9203214068659 • or to post comments Hi Inam, So sorry to hear about your father.
It is understandable that you are all upset by this terrible news. I'm so glad for you that you have found hope for your father at this facility. Have they told you what Stage he is in? How many chemo treatment cycles will he be receiving? How old is he? I received Gemzar and Cisplatin.
Since this is a public forum it isn't a good idea to list your phone number. I don't take personal calls as things such as this are very private and I will support you however I can via this forum or email. You can email me at LGregg6293@Aol.Com.
Of course I will pray for your father, along with you and your family. Take Care Lily • or to post comments Hiii! howz u....?? m glad to found you here and n also know that you are GBC survivor... Well, my uncle is 70 yrs of age and he is from India... my uncle is diagnosed with gallbladder cancer stage 4 since December 2010....
He took a chemo in January 2011 but couldn't tolerate it... So, he didn't prefer any chemo after that.... Moreover, he lost half of his body weight n also not fit for chemo now. Currently, he is suffering from severe stomach pain... Now Doctor over here says that he has no way as the cancer spread to his Liver n other organs nearby...Doctor over here has discharged my Uncle from the Hospital last 6 days ago and advice to take pain killers like Morphine n contrammol Injection 2 get relief from pain...
No other treatment is given by the Doctor other then 2 get relief from pain so far.. My uncle is now at home counting his days ahead... Is there any way to give him a good treatment in India yet to add few years more to his life...??? Plzz help me out for his best results... I feel like crying for him... Lastly, hope for your quick response.... My email id is (firstname.lastname@example.org) thanx... Yours faithfully Nasim Sazzad Rahman • or to post comments Hi Nassim, Welcome to our forum.
I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle. I can tell that you love him a lot as you have come to this board seeking answers. I'm a five year survivor of this terrible disease. I was only 46 when I was diagnosed. When you say that your uncle couldn't tolerate the chemo was there any consideration to either lowering the dosage or changing it all together? My original cocktail (Gemzar and Carboplatin) didn't work for me in the beginning so they switched it (Gemzar aand Cisplatin).
Or was he just too weak to be able to handle the treatments? This disease can be very painful. You need to find another doctor that maybe will have some suggestions on how your uncle can have a longer life.
Maybe another doctor will have another treatment plan that will sit better with your Uncle. Give it a try, what do you have to lose. In order to beat this disease you have to have positive thoughts to get you through. In order for your uncle to have any quality of life the pain has to be minimized. It isn't unusual for nearby organs and lymph nodes to become involved. Your Uncle probably isn't counting his days ahead but is trying to make the most out of the days he feels he has left.
Without chemo, radiation and surgery, palliative care is the only option left. He needs to be supported by family and friends and try to enjoy each day the best that he can. There are no alternative methods that I am aware of for this type of cancer. He needs to try and eat healthy and take supplements to help him through this terrible disease.
Let us know what is happening with him and ask us any questions you want, we will try to help. Take Care Lily • or to post comments Hi, I am from Bangalore, India. My father's been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer stage 4 which has spread slightly to liver as well. Yours seem to be a very motivating case, anything specific you did + can you give me the contact details of the oncologist who treated you.
Regards Parth • or to post comments Hi, Welcome to our board. This thread is a little older than the Gallbladder Cancer 2011 thread. Many people have moved over to the smaller thread as it takes forever for this one to load and finding new posts can be difficult. I'm so sorry that this terrible disease has entered into your lives. It is a terrible disease and the statistics are out-dated and give little hope.
I am a 5 year survivor of this disease. I was diagnosed in 2005, received chemo from 12/2005 thru 09/2006. I had surgery 10/2006 and then more chemo in 01/2007 thru 03/2007. I was Stage 4 and inoperable.
My chemo cocktail was Gemzar and Cisiplatin. It took 3 visits to the surgeon in another state before I was given the opportunity to have an extended (or radical) cholecystectomy performed at UCLA in California. My oncologist was: Cancer and Blood Specialists of Nevada Russell Gollard, MD 58 N. Pecos Road Henderson, Nevada 89074 702-822-2000 Green Valley Location He is the best and saved my life.
My surgeon was: Howard Reber, MD Specialty Surgery Hospital Affiliation Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Contact (310) 825-4976 Email Address email@example.com He is associated with The Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
http://www.cancer.ucla.edu Check out this website, it has lots of good information The journey with this disease is long and hard. It is important to treat the whole body along with the mind and spirit. Nutrition is very important along with exercise and I found meditation helps. Don't lose your Hope and Faith when dealing with this disease. Take Care Lily • or to post comments hi,I am a 3rd year medical student from Srilanka.
My mother was recently diagnosed for galbladder cancer which spread into liver and lympy nodes.Due to para aortic lymph node involment surgery not done.Today she has inserted a stent to releave symptoms.One of ouroncologist have desided to start chemotherapy.But he told that it was not sure.If any one can help me please reply me.I want to know about chemotherapy and how from where we can take it.thank you(firstname.lastname@example.org) • or to post comments Just a few months ago my mom was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer.
She had said that she was having some back pains and noticed she had a rash on her side and lower back. It turned out that she had shingles, so they put her on gabapentin, she has healed from that. Then the doctors did a biopsy and found a tumor in her stomach, did the Pet Scan and that's when they found it was cancer. Right now she has stage 4 cancer, just started chemo last month. The doctor put her on Gemzar. Last week when they the blood work they were going to check her markers, well yesterday, they told us that her markers have come down quite a bit.
I've noticed that when she comes out of chemo, she is loopy, a bit disoriented, her behavior is off. I don't know if this is typical or I can just blame it on her age. It frustrates me to see her act like this. She is fine when my daughter and her great-granddaughter come over. My granddaughter is 21 months, she is wonderful. I have concerns that she is loosing weight each week, she is small in frame to begin with.
About 15 years ago I lost my dad, he went in for a quad by-pass and didn't make it, then loss my aunt and uncle the following year, so my mom's support team is no longer. Her support team is my brother, my daughter, some family members and my boyfriend. I've talked to my uncle, he is a retired microbiologist in cancer research and he tells me to hang in there. I take her to her appointments and I use up a lot of leave, thankfully where I work I accumulate leave but it does take a tole on me.
I'm curious if others out there are experiencing the same thing with their loved ones going through this. I really don't have anyone to talk to about this. Right now we are hoping for remission. I try to educated myself on this type of cancer as much as possible. I look forward to reading any comments from others out there, take care everyone and my prayers are with you each and every day. • or to post comments Hi, Welcome to our board.
This thread is a little older than the Gallbladder Cancer 2011 thread. Many people have moved over to the smaller thread as it takes forever for this one to load and finding new posts can be difficult. I'm so sorry that this disease has touched your mother and your lives. This is a very sneaky disease and can sometimes appear with little or no symptoms. It is good that she started chemo and is already receiving results. That means that the Gemzar is doing its job to kill those nasty little critters.
In the beginning of chemo sometimes they will add some type of medication to help you relax. You need to ask the chemo nurses exactly what she is being given in her cocktail. Sometimes doctors will add that component if they feel it is necessary. When you ask the nurses what she is being given, write it down and if you don't understand keep asking.
You need to be an advocate for your mother. I was so happy to hear the joy in your voice when talking about your granddaughter. It is important for you not to let your mother’s illness become all consuming.
You have to take care of yourself also. It is pretty common to lose weight when undergoing treatment. You can lose your appetite or you can become hungry all the time. I found that small meals worked the best every couple of hours.
Also Ensure and/or Boost will make sure that she gets the nutrition that she needs. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and smoothies are all very good choices. It sounds to me like your mother has a strong support team. As people get older their support system can change from people that are their age to their children. At any time you can talk to us. There are people who have completed treatment, people who are in active treatment, and people who are the caregivers for their loved ones.
We all have different perspectives on this disease. Becoming educated on this disease is a good thing. Knowledge is power and the more that you know the more comfortable you can become with this disease.
Ask us any questions and we will try to help you and your mother during this journey. I'll add you mother to my prayer list. Take Care Lily • or to post comments Pages The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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