Stage 2 colon cancer- should I take xeloda?

I was recently diagnosed with stage 2a colon cancer.  Had a resection in December and currently feeling well.  My oncologist has said I could try xeloda but there is not a lot of evidence that it will improve my survival rate by more that a few percentage points.  I am struggling to make this decision.  Is it worth the risks of dealing with the side effects?  Any input would be appreciated. 

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Comments

  • mozart13
    mozart13 Member Posts: 118
    Xeloda

    "few percentage points" might mean life down the road.

    It is very easy to controll side effects, by increasing or deacrising dose, with regullar blood work.

    I was on xeloda for 5 weeks, just had burning feet and small cracking of the skin, easilly resolved with cream. Was very tired at the end of treatment, was receiving radiation at same time.

    Wish you well, which ever way you decide to go!

  • Helen321
    Helen321 Member Posts: 1,434 Member
    Chemo wise, most people don't

    Chemo wise, most people don't have lasting problems from Xeloda.  It's the IV ones that are doozies.  I can't tell you either way, it's a personal decision but I didn't get chemo when I had my resection and my cancer came back.  My doctor at the time didn't think it was necessary.  He was wrong.  I paid a huge price.  Xeloda is doable as long as you are not extremely sensitive to medications and don't usually have lasting side effect issues.  It feels crappy while you're on it but once you're off, you're done.  Wear cottom gloves and socks to bed and keep your hands and feet moisturized before you even start taking it if you choose to do it.  Prevention is better than fixing.

  • Cinnamon Jones
    Cinnamon Jones Member Posts: 21
    edited February 2017 #4
    Thanks for the input.  My

    Thanks for the input.  My concern is that I work as a nurse and I am washing and sanitizing my hands all day long.  Not sure if I could tolerate the dry skin and not working is not an option.  I am thinking of trying it and then stopping if it didn't work out.  What stage were you?  

  • Phil64
    Phil64 Member Posts: 838
    Tough decision. I was stage

    Tough decision. I was stage IV so not really able to comment on your decision. I had to do everything I could to try and battle the advanced stage cancer. But I will say, in my experience, some of the chemo I took didn't seem to be effective in my cancer and one drug was mirraculously effective. Also, ne in my hands and feet was a very real side effect from oxciliplatin. The neuropathy in my hands completly dissipated however the neuropathy in my feet seems to be permanent. In hind site the oxciliplatin didnt seem to help kill the cancer cells but instead caused permanent neuropathy. Only if we could know what would work and what wouldn't work in advance... Of course that is the dilemma. Good luck and God bless!

     

  • impactzone
    impactzone Member Posts: 539 Member
    As stage 4 person, I always

    As stage 4 person, I always took the most aggressive path. I would never be stronger than today. I hope whatever your decision it works out well.

    Chip

  • sdev
    sdev Member Posts: 1
    I dont recall dry skin being

    I dont recall dry skin being one of my side effects. I did Xeloda and Oxcliplatin for stage IV. I agree with a previous poster that said the IV stuff is the worst and in comparison the pills are considered mild. Just be ready for a bit of a bumpy ride. If it were me, I would error on the side of being more aggressive rather than less. You can always use lotion for dry skin.

  • BrianChristopher
    BrianChristopher Member Posts: 23
    edited February 2017 #8
    Xeloda

    I was diagnosed as stage 3  colon cancer but only one of my lymph nodes was affected and so I had the resection done in December and have just started Xeloda on Feb 3 and so some of the side effects such as hands and feet sensitivity is real but i use Burt's Bees hand salve once in the am and again at night and so far no problems.  I looked up the different stages of colon cancer before I knew my results and i found that stage 3 with one affected lymph node faired much better with chemo, my oncologist and i agreed on Xeloda and infusion of Oxaliplatin.  Since you were diagnosed as a stage 2 I think the number of lymph node plays a big role in whether or not chemo is most effective, but you must decide what is best.  I found this site to be of immense help in both learniong and keeping myself from losing perspective given that i search the internet high and low with a variety of good informationand a lot of B.S. My chemo regimen is; 2000mg of Xeloda each day 1000mg in am and again at night, the Oxaliplatin is every three weeks for six months, I just started my 1 week break off of the Xeloda; my schedule is a 3 week schedule  beginning with the infusion of Oxaliplatin (once every 3 weeks), and also the Xeloda (daily) for two weeks and then one week off before going back for the next round of infusion and then Xeloda.  I pray we all are healed and recover well. Brian

  • wszimmerman
    wszimmerman Member Posts: 4
    Unusual

    My husband, 43, had stage 3b.  His resection was the beginning of October and then he started Xelox in November.  We were told the oral chemo would have fewer side effects and our insurance covered it so we decided that was easier than coming home with a pump and doing Folfox.  (We have nine children, seven of which are boys.  The thoughts of tubing and needles with all those kids was worrisome. Yes, they are all ours and we know what causes it.  Tongue Out)  

    During the off week after the second treatment my husband started experiencing diarrhea.  We spent early Christmas morning in the ER.  With each successive treatment the off week got worse and worse until after the fourth one I woke up to find him on our bathroom floor, temperature elevated.  We ended up in the ER and then back at the hospital several times to top off his fluids.  His potassium dropped to dangerously low levels.  

    When we went in to start the next cycle the oncologist didn't give us any choice we had to switch to the 5FU, the Xeloda was killing my husband a little too effectively.  

    I realize this is a very unusual case, less than 10% of patients have this reaction.  Just be aware that it is a possibility, especially if you've lived a live with no alcohal.

    Good luck and God bless.

  • Bellen
    Bellen Member Posts: 281
    Hi Phil64 - would you mind

    Hi Phil64 - would you mind sharing the part of your chemo cocktail that you found was really effective.  I know everyone is different, but I'm always reading and trying to learn of my chemo options for the future.  Having folfiri + avastin right now. Thanks so much.

  • Cinnamon Jones
    Cinnamon Jones Member Posts: 21

    Xeloda

    I was diagnosed as stage 3  colon cancer but only one of my lymph nodes was affected and so I had the resection done in December and have just started Xeloda on Feb 3 and so some of the side effects such as hands and feet sensitivity is real but i use Burt's Bees hand salve once in the am and again at night and so far no problems.  I looked up the different stages of colon cancer before I knew my results and i found that stage 3 with one affected lymph node faired much better with chemo, my oncologist and i agreed on Xeloda and infusion of Oxaliplatin.  Since you were diagnosed as a stage 2 I think the number of lymph node plays a big role in whether or not chemo is most effective, but you must decide what is best.  I found this site to be of immense help in both learniong and keeping myself from losing perspective given that i search the internet high and low with a variety of good informationand a lot of B.S. My chemo regimen is; 2000mg of Xeloda each day 1000mg in am and again at night, the Oxaliplatin is every three weeks for six months, I just started my 1 week break off of the Xeloda; my schedule is a 3 week schedule  beginning with the infusion of Oxaliplatin (once every 3 weeks), and also the Xeloda (daily) for two weeks and then one week off before going back for the next round of infusion and then Xeloda.  I pray we all are healed and recover well. Brian

    xeloda

    Thanks for your input.  I have stage 2a. 19 of 19 lymph nodes negative.  Negative margins, No perforations, CEA normal.  Haven't made a final decision but need to do so very soon. 

  • Cinnamon Jones
    Cinnamon Jones Member Posts: 21

    Unusual

    My husband, 43, had stage 3b.  His resection was the beginning of October and then he started Xelox in November.  We were told the oral chemo would have fewer side effects and our insurance covered it so we decided that was easier than coming home with a pump and doing Folfox.  (We have nine children, seven of which are boys.  The thoughts of tubing and needles with all those kids was worrisome. Yes, they are all ours and we know what causes it.  Tongue Out)  

    During the off week after the second treatment my husband started experiencing diarrhea.  We spent early Christmas morning in the ER.  With each successive treatment the off week got worse and worse until after the fourth one I woke up to find him on our bathroom floor, temperature elevated.  We ended up in the ER and then back at the hospital several times to top off his fluids.  His potassium dropped to dangerously low levels.  

    When we went in to start the next cycle the oncologist didn't give us any choice we had to switch to the 5FU, the Xeloda was killing my husband a little too effectively.  

    I realize this is a very unusual case, less than 10% of patients have this reaction.  Just be aware that it is a possibility, especially if you've lived a live with no alcohal.

    Good luck and God bless.

    xeloda

    Wow, how scary that must have been.  Hope things are going better now.  What did you mean by the comment "if you have lived a life with no alcohol?"

  • Phil64
    Phil64 Member Posts: 838
    edited March 2017 #13
    Bellen said:

    Hi Phil64 - would you mind

    Hi Phil64 - would you mind sharing the part of your chemo cocktail that you found was really effective.  I know everyone is different, but I'm always reading and trying to learn of my chemo options for the future.  Having folfiri + avastin right now. Thanks so much.

    Erbitux

    I have a blog where I've documented my battles from the dignisis to date. I also have a chart where I show my CEA results and overlay the chemo cocktails I was receiving. 

    Re: https://pscamihorn.me/cea-history/

    If you examine this chart you will see that Erbitux was highly effective on my cancer. So effective that my oncologist gave me a year of just Erbitux in an attempt to make sure any rogue cancer cells would be obliterated.

    The surgeon that did my last liver resection said he didn't think I should take the Erbitux treatment but I trusted my oncologist and did 24 of 24 treatments from Feb 2015 through Feb of 2016.

    So far I'm still NED. Thanks be to God.

    Wishing you all healing Light and Love.

  • ellend
    ellend Member Posts: 109 Member
    edited March 2017 #14
    Xeloda or not

    I was also diagnosed stage 2 and after resection, had clean margins, negative 19 of 19 lymph nodes. I also struggled with whether or not do have the adjuvant chemo. I ended up getting FOLFOX for 8 treatments. Well, not entirely true because they stopped the 5FU and Leucovorin after the 2nd treatment because my platelets were getting too low. I still had the bolus 5FU in the fanny pack for an additional 2 days though. The side effects were worse with the Oxaliplatin than the Xeloda IMHO. I'm still dealing with peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet due to the IV chemo. I'm hoping it will get better over time.

    I took Xeloda during the radiation treatments I underwent prior to surgery to shrink the tumor. I was taking it 7x a week, 3x per day for 5 weeks. I didn't take the Xeloda the last weekend because my hands and feet were getting cracked. I probably didn't take care of them as well as I should have, though. Plus everyone's reactions are different.

    Good luck with whatever path you choose.

  • wszimmerman
    wszimmerman Member Posts: 4

    xeloda

    Wow, how scary that must have been.  Hope things are going better now.  What did you mean by the comment "if you have lived a life with no alcohol?"

    We don't ever drink alcohol,

    We don't ever drink alcohol, never even tasted the stuff.  We were told that because of that his reaction would be more harsh.  Does that make sense?

    We just had the second dose of 5FU and things seem to be going much better for him.

     

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,628 Member

    We don't ever drink alcohol,

    We don't ever drink alcohol, never even tasted the stuff.  We were told that because of that his reaction would be more harsh.  Does that make sense?

    We just had the second dose of 5FU and things seem to be going much better for him.

     

    I know exactly what you mean

    Sorry, I'm butting in on your comment to Cinnamon; but I know what you mean because I think this is what happened when I went on chemo. 

    I do not take medication. I haven't needed it, thank goodness, for many, many years. And that is why I think I had such a severe reaction to chemo. I think I had about every side efect possible. I believe it was because I did not take medicine for so many years. And I also do not drink alcohol. 

    TRU

  • mozart13
    mozart13 Member Posts: 118
    edited March 2017 #17
    Stage T1, T2

    I am going for LAR at the begining of April, the plan is 12 rounds of chemo after,  surgeon thats gonna do the surgery thing thats over killing, but I am gonna go for it. I am an RN as well, will try to go back to work as well, most likely modified work, dont feel like sitting at home. 

    Right now I am back to work after chemo/rad, by my will, and it feels great, was going nuts at home.

    If you have to work, than work,  but good thing with nursing is posibillity of changing area that one wants to be in, try to pick the area that suits your current condition.

    Good luck!

     

  • wszimmerman
    wszimmerman Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2017 #18
    Trubrit said:

    I know exactly what you mean

    Sorry, I'm butting in on your comment to Cinnamon; but I know what you mean because I think this is what happened when I went on chemo. 

    I do not take medication. I haven't needed it, thank goodness, for many, many years. And that is why I think I had such a severe reaction to chemo. I think I had about every side efect possible. I believe it was because I did not take medicine for so many years. And I also do not drink alcohol. 

    TRU

    No need to apologize.  :)  

    No need to apologize.  :)  

    Being young and "healthy" has actually made treatments harder on my husband than anything.  A few allergy meds in the spring/summer were all he ever took.  

    Our oncologist told us he should breeze through chemo; the pharmacist told us it would be really hard on him.  Unfortunately it was a win for the pharmacist.  

  • Canadian Sandy
    Canadian Sandy Member Posts: 725 Member
    edited March 2017 #19
    I was stage 11B when

    I was stage 11B when diagnosed. Did 3 treatments of xeloda and 1 treatment irinotecan. Ned at the present time and hope to stay that way. i didn't know when I started that the cancer had spread to some pelvic lymph nodes. So happy that I decided to do adjuvant chemo. I ended up in the hospital from the I irinotecan treatment butt I think it helped.

  • chp
    chp Member Posts: 29
    i was 2a

    I was stage 2a in 2012.  I did take the xeloda because I wanted to be sure I had done all I could.  I didn't have any problems with my hands peeling but did with my feet.  It really didn't cause me that much trouble.  It did make me more tired than usual - if I walked 5 miles - which I tried to do most days, I would be really tired.  I was retired by that time so I wasn't working, don't know how that would be.  If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything.:)

    Cathy

  • Rachel661
    Rachel661 Member Posts: 1
    Xeloda

    Hi Cinnamon. Im Stage 2 Colon / clear margins / 16/16 neg. My oncologist recomended Xeloda for 6 months. I was wondering if you decided to do the treatment and

    if so, what has you experience been as far as side effects. Thank You.