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Has Anyone actually been cured by chemotherapy?

bigCrandy
Posts: 75
Joined: Sep 2008

Hello everyone, I hope and pray that everyone's condition is improving and progressing towards the ultimate goal of being NED. It's been 4 yrs for me and still on chemo as we speak. Just finished my 67th round. I started out stage 3C 20/22 lymph nodes, 14" of colon removed. This is my 3rd recurrence and was diagnosed as stage 4 last April with mets to both lungs. I've gone through everything out there that is made for colon cancer and I'm now back to the beginning where it all began(folfox). We've run out of chemo options so we are starting all over again. I'm curious to know if there is anyone out there that can honestly say that their cancer was cured by the chemo. I've heard different reports and I know that some people have chemo only once and that they are living cancer free, while others including my self become chemo junkies and can't never seem to get rid of it for good. For the most part I can deal with the chemo on a regular basis since I'm still able to work full time as a landscaper but I have to admit "Chemo Sucks". Sure would like to hear from both sides, especially the "NEDS". Thank you and God Bless everyone, stay strong, and keep a positive attiude, and never, ever, give up! Randy

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

The only known cure is surgery, and the lower the stage, the higher surgery's success rate.

Chemotherapy, as adjuvant to surgery, is a way of increasing the odds. For a stage one patient it may only increase the odds by five points or less. For a stage three patient it could be by fifteen points or more.

For those of us at stage IV chemo is referred to as palliative, with an intent to prolong life, and maintain quality of life, but not to cure.

There are long term survivors here, some have never been NED, some have had years of being NED.

What makes the difference? Finding the answer to that question is the key for all of us.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7874
Joined: Aug 2005

I had squamous cell carcinoma (usually in the anus) in my rectum. This type of cancer responds VERY well to rads/chemo. After one course, I was scoped in preparation for surgery...couldn't find any remaining evidence of the tumor (2 inches). I am a worrier, so I decided to go ahead with the resection and J-pouch surgery, but that's just me...

6 months later I was dx'ed with my second primary cancer, breast cancer. I had the lump removed, and chemo (different) and rads, standard treatment. That, too, was sucessful on the first round.

Each person is so different. When I am asked 'What did you do special?'... I decline to answer. Someone else, with my same situation, may not have the same response. I think (my own opinion only) that it has to do with my immune system being different. It's been all of my life. And my mom is also a double cancer survivor. And my sister a single. My sister sums it up "We genetically are predisposed to cancer. But we also seem to have some quirk in our system that sucessfully battles it, as well!".

I am hopeful with the stronger look researchers are taking at the immune system will lead to higher prevention, and maybe even a (dare I say it?) cure....

Hugs, Kathi

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1267
Joined: Nov 2001

I have no Idea if chemo fixed me. I was dx st3c with 6 nodes involved. My surgeon is very experienced and described my ca as frightfully aggressive. I asked my chances and in his usual frank way he said none. I asked how long and he said no more than three years with chemo. My oncologist agreed. I asked where he thought I might get mets. He said from the roots of my hair to the soles of my feet.I had problems with chemo and finished up on weekly infusions of 5fu enhanced every two weeks with 9 tablets of levamisole which is used as an internal anti-parasitic by vets. (vile stuff) Well jan this year was the end of year 13 and I am still cancer free. I have had some polyps removed during my regulars checks but I am not due for another scope for another three years. On the word cured my surgeon said that I was cured of THAT tumour but I had to stay vigilant because if i didn't the next one would get me. Best of luck ,Ron.

AnneCan
Posts: 3693
Joined: Oct 2009

I am glad your doctors were wrong. Hey, even if they weren't the most optimistic they must be good at their jobs!

luvmylife's picture
luvmylife
Posts: 80
Joined: Jun 2010

That's a great story Ron. It really gives me hope for my husband, Jimmy.

Thanks for sharing!

Jan

coloCan
Posts: 1842
Joined: Oct 2009

in fact, reduces the size of one's tumor,perhaps making the surgery more manageable and less complicated (or,in some cases,even possible) then I don't think surgery alone nor chemo alone can be credited with one thus being declared "cured". For me, it was chemo, radiation AND surgery that explains my being here.....Tho I always felt that everything rested upon the hands of my surgeon in the sense that both rad and chemo took place over a period of time and each could have been delayed if side effects called for that, with surgery, once the surgeon starts---thats it, you either wake up or you don't and if you wake up you can't go, "wait a second, can I get my old .......back?"

As I end my apointment,I always cry as I thank my surgeon for keeping me alive and he always reminds me that he had help, meaning my onc and rad......He's right,.....(Of course, as a stage threer my view undoubtedly differs from one,twos and fours......steve

PS:Bottom line, makes no difference your opinion, as long as you still can express one!!!!!That means you're still kicking

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