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Old 03-29-2013, 01:38 AM   #1
themilesfamily
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Cancer of the Pancreas, Spread to the Liver...

My daughter's dance instructor -- a girl who can't be older than 22 or 23, is in incredible physical shape, and is about the nicest person I've ever met -- just found out that she has pancreatic cancer that has spread to her liver.

I don't know any more details than that. I don't know if the tumors are benign or malignant, or anything else.

I guess my question is, how can someone so young and fit end up with this type of cancer? I always hear that advanced age, being overweight, smoking, junk food, etc. are risk factors for cancer. But it seems like every time I've personally known someone who gets cancer they are the thinnest, healthiest-eating, exercising type people. Is it genetics, is it environmental exposure to something?

Also, does anyone on the boards know anyone who's been in a similar situation? Does anyone know what kind of outcome is expected with this?

I'm sorry, I'm just in complete shock right now. This girl is not a relative, but she has such a good heart and has been so phenomenally good to my daughter.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:43 AM   #2
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I can't help with any information but it makes me so sad to hear about young adults dealing with all these horrible diagnosis's. She is in my thoughts/prayers.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker'n'Fun View Post
I can't help with any information but it makes me so sad to hear about young adults dealing with all these horrible diagnosis's. She is in my thoughts/prayers.
Thank you so much!
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:03 AM   #4
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Cancer does not discriminate , my daughter was 14 the first time she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma ( bone cancer ) and 19 when she relapsed. Thank God she is back in remission.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:01 AM   #5
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Cancer does not discriminate , my daughter was 14 the first time she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma ( bone cancer ) and 19 when she relapsed. Thank God she is back in remission.
I'm so glad she's in remission. She must be an incredibly strong person. Love and best wishes to you and your family!

I'm so grateful to the doctors and pharmaceutical companies who are fighting this. I know they've made huge advances in treatment.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themilesfamily View Post
My daughter's dance instructor -- a girl who can't be older than 22 or 23, is in incredible physical shape, and is about the nicest person I've ever met -- just found out that she has pancreatic cancer that has spread to her liver.

I don't know any more details than that. I don't know if the tumors are benign or malignant, or anything else.

I guess my question is, how can someone so young and fit end up with this type of cancer? I always hear that advanced age, being overweight, smoking, junk food, etc. are risk factors for cancer. But it seems like every time I've personally known someone who gets cancer they are the thinnest, healthiest-eating, exercising type people. Is it genetics, is it environmental exposure to something?

Also, does anyone on the boards know anyone who's been in a similar situation? Does anyone know what kind of outcome is expected with this?

I'm sorry, I'm just in complete shock right now. This girl is not a relative, but she has such a good heart and has been so phenomenally good to my daughter.
Well, by definition, since she's been diagnosed with cancer the tumors are malignant. Benign is the absence of cancer. As for preventing it, my personal belief(not proven by science yet) is that we are all walking around with cancer and where/whether/ or even if it suddenly explodes inside us is kind of luck of the draw. There are cancers that are more preventable than others like lung cancer, but even people who've never smoked a cigarette in their life have been killed from it.

I think we should just live the best lives we can while we have them and hope that's enough.

As for the dance teacher, I'll say prayers for her.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:10 AM   #7
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Wow. She is so young. My father in law died from pancreatic cancer three years ago. There was nothing they could do which they felt would be successful, and he passed away just two months later. I hope that since your friend is young and strong there will be some options for her.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:48 AM   #8
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I'll be honest; outcomes with pancreatic cancer are not typically good, because there are often no symptoms until it's quite advanced. There are exceptions though.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:53 AM   #9
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As a previous poster mentioned the outcomes with pancreatic cancer are not good. The 5 year survival rate is very low. I'm sorry for this young lady.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themilesfamily View Post
My daughter's dance instructor -- a girl who can't be older than 22 or 23, is in incredible physical shape, and is about the nicest person I've ever met -- just found out that she has pancreatic cancer that has spread to her liver.

I don't know any more details than that. I don't know if the tumors are benign or malignant, or anything else.

I guess my question is, how can someone so young and fit end up with this type of cancer? I always hear that advanced age, being overweight, smoking, junk food, etc. are risk factors for cancer. But it seems like every time I've personally known someone who gets cancer they are the thinnest, healthiest-eating, exercising type people. Is it genetics, is it environmental exposure to something?

Also, does anyone on the boards know anyone who's been in a similar situation? Does anyone know what kind of outcome is expected with this?

I'm sorry, I'm just in complete shock right now. This girl is not a relative, but she has such a good heart and has been so phenomenally good to my daughter.
I am so sorry.

I don't think that we can identify the exact "cause" of the cancer because there are so many theories. However since she is so young & healthy it is probably genetics, in short mutated genes. Again, that is just a theory because identifying the exact cause for pancreatic cancer at this point in time can be difficult or sometimes not even possible.

Quote:
Genetics: As mentioned earlier, a number of inherited cancer syndromes increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. These include inherited mutations in the BRCA2, FAMMM, PalB2 or Peutz-Jeghers genes. To learn more about familial pancreatic cancer visit the web site of the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry.

Expected outcome? She could live as long as 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, to 2 years or beyond. No one has a crystal ball.

Many, many, many hugs to you during this time.

Here is John Hopkins site about the cancer in the quote above.
http://pathology.jhu.edu/pc/BasicCauses.php
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:54 AM   #11
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In 2 words: Cancer Sucks!

It seems to pick people at random with no thought to their true health. It can and will pop up out of no where.

In regards to Pancreatic Cancer---in the long run--it is fatal--the length of time that you extend your life is a crap shoot.

My father will turn 63 in July. For his birthday in 2009, he was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer--this was after battling years of pancreatitis attacks that the doctors said was nothing...getting in a doctors face as his very pissed off daughter led to the eventual diagnosis.
He had surgery the following month to remove 2/3 of his pancreas. He was told then that things looked good...

Feb. of 2012 brought numerous hospital stays once again due to pancreatitis--final diagnosis in August of last year --Stage 4 pancreatic cancer that has since spread to his liver --given just weeks---yet here we are 7 months later and he still enjoys a satisfying life. And he has had no chemo or radiation (they typically don't help with pancreatic)

And no--he was not a drinker...I truly believe that the extension of life after diagnosis has a lot to do with the mental fortitude of the patient and those around them. My father is to d*** stubborn to let go!

Many prayers to her, her family and all of the friends that surround her. The biggest advice I can give is to be supportive and make sure she stays active--no depression allowed in Cancerville!

2 Words: Cancer SUCKS!!!
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:20 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Last night when I heard the news, I just had this feeling like, "Why her?" (Not that anyone deserves it.) I was just trying to make sense of it in my head.

Apparently last week she was at dance class, but was so weak, trembling, and sick, that she couldn't teach the class. My husband was there with my daughter, so I heard about that second hand.

This girl is amazingly upbeat and I know that she'll have a great attitude no matter what life brings her. Her whole family is that way. But this is definitely a bitter pill to swallow.

Thanks to everybody and I am so very sorry for those of you who've had loved ones who have dealt with cancer. Or to those who have dealt with it themselves. It definitely does suck. No doubt about it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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Why her? Who knows....why did our 22 year old neighbor/friend die of lymphoma last year and also why did another young girl in our town die of colon cancer at 24??? Crazy. Is it genetics, is it environmental...who knows. What we do know is that it is horrible.

My thoughts are with her and her family.

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Old 03-29-2013, 10:35 AM   #14
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I can only speak for the kind of cancer I had (Lymphoma), but what I read about it at the time was that genetics is a major factor (my grandmother died of the same kind of cancer) and, oddly enough, age. I found out I had it at 25, and apparently it has a tendency to show up either in your mid-20s or in old age. It can still show up at other ages, but it is rarer.

Like others have said, in large part, cancer doesn't know age/health/etc. There are certainly factors that can contribute to it growing from that first cell to a full blown tumor, but all that really has to happen is that your body can't/doesn't fight off that first cell and it multiplies.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:04 AM   #15
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