"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Plan of Attack!

(Aunt Barbar's Update)

Update from Kerry’s doctor appointment with her surgeon:

Kerry’s pathology report showed infiltrating poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, meaning that it is a very aggressive cancer. Because it is so aggressive, she will be scheduled for surgery at the next available operating room slot. The only possible way to cure gastric cancer is to remove it, which entails removing part or all of the stomach. Because her cancer is in the upper part of the stomach, it is most likely that they will have to remove all of her stomach (total gastrectomy). When they remove the cancer, they have to have a 6 centimeter margin that is free of cancer on all sides. Because her cancer is higher up in the stomach, it will probably not allow them to leave any of the stomach attached to the esophagus in order to achieve those margins. They will remove the stomach and then attach the small intestine to the esophagus. She will be able to eat, but smaller, more frequent meals. They will start the procedure laparoscopically (with small incisions and scope placed through the incision), but she will have to have a larger incision made to remove the stomach as well as to attach the intestine to the esophagus. They will first assess all the surrounding organs to check for spread and then what they find after they are in there will determine the next step, whether or not to remove part or all of the stomach. They will do frozen sections during surgery to look at the tissue. She will have to be in the hospital 5 to 7 days after the surgery and unable to eat for a few days in order to allow the area where it was attached to heal. They will remove the stomach and surrounding lymph nodes which will be sent to Pathology for staging of the cancer. It will take approximately a week to get those results back. The stage of the cancer will determine whether she needs to have chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The tests that have been run up to this point have not indicated any spread outside the stomach, so keep her in your prayers that it has been found in its early stages.

Oncology Channel, Gastric Cancer Overview

Mayo Clinic, About Stomach Cancer

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