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Side effects & outcomes with Avastin?....

gizzyluv's picture
gizzyluv
Posts: 143
Joined: Feb 2013

Jason goes Wednesday for his third chemo treatment (Oxaliplatin, 5-FU & Leucovorin). His oncologist told him during the consultation re: the chemo that he wants to start him on Avastin but wanted to wait until his incision from the surgery on 2/8 is completely healed due to bleeding issues that can be caused by Avastin. We're hoping he starts him on it Wednesday, expecially after what I read last night. I was researching the side effects of Avastin & it said that it needs to be started by at least the 2nd chemo treatment for it to be effective? Does anyone know anything about this? Also, I'd love to hear about any side effects experienced & also how well it has worked for you all.....Thanks in advance! Kris

Dyanclark's picture
Dyanclark
Posts: 245
Joined: Apr 2012

Oxaliplatin had the bad side effects.  My husband did the oxy with avastin from Feb - June of last year.  Then he did one month just Avastin and he had no side effects from Avastin, however, he had not had surgery in 4 years.  I think that your knowledge on the bleeding is correct.  Avastin doesnt work by itself but from what ONC told us it works when used with the Oxy.  It seems Jason should do ok since he has not yet had the resection and he should be healing pretty good.  

The neuropthy has been the side effects George had from the Oxy, and he is still dealing with that.  Thru all his Chemo treatments he did pretty good.  

HUGS George & DyanSurprisedKiss

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

Nine years ago I started a 5 month cycle of Avastin to shrink the numerous tumors I had in my liver which at the time, made me inoperable. Avastin was approved for colon cancer 1 month after my diagnosis otherwise I would have done 6 months of it. It was one of the new targeted treatments whose purpose was to block the blood supply to the tumors.

I was on FOLFOX for the entire 6 months prior to my first surgery. I never heard that it had to be taken by at least the second treatment but very often there's a study that contradicts another study (is coffee good now or not?). I wouldn't be surprised if the sooner one starts the better but I would think one could still benefit from it.

BTW: after 5 months of Avastin my liver tumors shrunk enough so they could do the resection of my liver

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2171
Joined: Oct 2011

as far as I could tell.  Seemed like most of my symptoms came from the other chemos I was on at the same time.  It wasn't an effective tx for me, but it works for a lot of people.  I've read some pretty amazing stories of folks who had major results from it.  It has a significant impact on prognosis for many people, so I think it's worth trying, even if starting a little later in the process. Hugs to you both~AA

AnnLouise's picture
AnnLouise
Posts: 276
Joined: Mar 2013

I started taking oxy and xeloda 3 weeks after surgery and added Avastin 3 weeks later....I don't think I had any bad side effects(hard to tell when you are on oxy, and I did have side effects from that). The combination brought down my CEA and after 9 rounds had me ready for liver resection. Hope all goes well on Wednesday.......sending positive thoughts....~Ann

renw's picture
renw
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

The main side effects for me nose and rectal bleeding. Its hard to blow my nose now without chunky bts of congealed blood coming out. Things are just not healing the way thy should after avastin either. 

Also experienced a slow nose bleed that lasted 3 hours, but that seems to have been a once off thing. My blood pressure rose slightly as well.

still nicer than oxaliplatin but.

KayeKay's picture
KayeKay
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

I was supposed to do 12 rounds of avastin but was only able to do 6 or so. I experienced bleeding issues. Nose bleeds and abnornal vaginal bleeding to the point that i had to have surgery to get it to stop. Other than the bleeding from every orifice and the not being able to heal issues which made it miserable for me i didnt have any other side effects from avastin.

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

I did avastin with xeloda for a good six months and found it very tolerable and convenient as no infusions. Worked fulltime with tirednessonly side effect. Haven't heard the second treatment thing and think I actually waited till third due to funding issues. Combination did control my cancer but didn't particularly shrink it,

Steve

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Kris

As others have already alluded to bleeding can become an issue...nosebleeds became very common for me...and because of my very low platelet count, getting the bleeding to stop was a challenge.

It would just start bleeding for no reason...

I developed a heart tic after taking about 10-doses of Avastin...as far as I know, I appear to be the only one that developed that condition from taking Avastin.

In the company literature, I was reading about the side effects of the drug...it mentioned that prolonged use of Avastin 'could' cause congestive heart failure over time...though it did not specifically state how much time that would be.  I believe that I read this information in the Disclosure section of the company website for Avastin. 

For awhile, it was a little scary....felt like I couldn't catch my breath when I exhaled, the heart would get funny.  It happened 100's of time a day as I breathed in and out.

Now, the episodes are not as severe, but I find myself to this day still sort of "double catching" my breath.  I've gotten used to it and things seem well. 

I just sort of developed a slight arrythmia from taking it...I was fine with no issues of any kind prior to the introduction of this medicine.

Everyone seems to do fine with it....I was just a one-off it looks like...alot of my case is like that...

Good luck and report anything unusual to the doctor!

Roddy2
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2012

I have been on the same chemo treatment as Jason since August 2012 But with Avastin included right from the start. Just completed 18 sessions and ongoing. Ran for the first 16 weeks with Oxally and that gave the usual symptoms but nothing I can attribute diirectly to Avastin. Had blood noses early in the piece but seemed to abate when the Oxally was taken off the regime. I am really fortunate so far that the overall side effects have been very minimal and not prevented me from doing things "normally". I am also part of a trial drug called "Congo" which may be helping matters as well - but being the trial I don't know if if I am on the trial drug or placebo.

hope all goes well

Roddy

Roddy2
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2012

I have been on the same chemo treatment as Jason since August 2012 But with Avastin included right from the start. Just completed 18 sessions and ongoing. Ran for the first 16 weeks with Oxally and that gave the usual symptoms but nothing I can attribute diirectly to Avastin. Had blood noses early in the piece but seemed to abate when the Oxally was taken off the regime. I am really fortunate so far that the overall side effects have been very minimal and not prevented me from doing things "normally". I am also part of a trial drug called "Congo" which may be helping matters as well - but being the trial I don't know if if I am on the trial drug or placebo.

hope all goes well

Roddy

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