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low platelet count after carboplatin administration

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 470
Joined: Apr 2009

My husband was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in November of 2008. He has finished the induction chemo and is now in the radiation phase of his treatment. He has taken two carboplatin treatments (apparently a low dose) but has missed it the last two weeks due to low platelet counts. His prognosis is excellent but being the basket case I am, I'm concerned about him missing these last two weeks due to low platlet counts. His oncologist is excellent and doesn't seemed to be too concerned about it. He did say studies had shown that the carbo helps the radiation work better but you don't want to risk the possibility of bleeding and having to interrupt the radiation schedule. Am I being too much of a worry wart?

Thanks

Jan

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Jan:

I received a combination of taxol and carboplatin last year, and on several occasions was required to postpone treatment because of either low platelet counts or low white blood cell counts. With respect to the latter, they gave me neupogen shots and I could usually be back on track the next week. With the platelets, however, I came back each week to see if they had recouped, and at least once I needed to skip a couple of weeks in a row.

These treatments ended in August of last year (08) and in November, following a scan, I was pronounced NED (No Evidence of Disease). I received the same clean bill of health just three weeks ago.

I do not know if this can help to allay your concerns, but hopefully you can at least see that it is not without precedent, and, in this case, a successful precedent to date.

I would advise that your Oncologist is looking out for your husband's best interests, not wanting to have to say, to paraphrase an old joke, "The patient died but the therapy was a success." :)

Best wishes to you and your husband.

Take care,

Joe

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