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Stage 2 + Kidney Disease: Chemo or No Chemo?

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013


I am 35 years old and was recently diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer (staged as T4 N0 M0).They removed 51 cm of my colon and I currently have an ileostomy. They plan on removing the rest of my colon in the fall. I also have chronic kidney disease, but fortunately have not yet had to get dialysis treatment. My kidneys are currently stable at 30% functioning.  There is no history of colon cancer or kidney issues in my family.

 My oncologist has given me statistics of 75% chance of being 5 years clear without chemo and 84% chance of being 5 years clear with chemo. My oncologist thinks that I should not worry about my kidneys and do the chemo for the extra 9%. My nephrologist thinks that I should also leave my kidneys out of the equation as dialysis is always an option. However, my nephrologist is very concerned about the toxicity of the chemo. She is not opposed to the chemo but does not feel as pro-chemo as my oncologist.

The chemo treatment suggested is FOLFOX 6 over 6 months, with a treatment every 2 weeks (4hrs at the hospital; 48 hrs at home). My oncologist would like me to start within the next 3 - 5 weeks.

My oncologist is opposed to the "wait and see" approach as the survival rates are apparently very low for individuals where the cancer returns.

Thoughts? Would you do the chemo? Would you wait and see? Do you think this chemo treatment regiment is the best option?


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 4563
Joined: Feb 2009

That is a very hard decision, but I'd suggest that you get a second opinion.  They do monitor your kidney function very well during chemo but treatment is also cummulative so it possibly could do damage even after you have quit.  Get a second opinion and see what they say.  Good luck to you.


Posts: 647
Joined: Apr 2012

When my husband was diagnosed in July 2010 with laryngeal cancer, he underwent radiation and 3 chemo treatments of Cisplatin.  The cisplatin did damage to his kidneys and he has not recovered from that.  Not much damage, but still damage.  The second round of chemo for cancer at the cervical of his esophagus was 7 treatments of carboplatin.  He had no problems with that and they kept a close eye on his kidneys.  Of course, these were lighter dosages than the Cisplatin and every week they did blood work and the dose was determined by the blood work. 

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