oral chemo

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mzzsandyb
mzzsandyb Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Recently diagnosed stage 3 really would like to do oral chemo.Boffalo doc say need to do IV. I don't want a port. What is the general opinion about oral chemo for colon cancer? What do you all think?

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  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
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    My views
    I am so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis.

    I think you may be talking about the pill Xeloda, which is sort of a pill equivalent to 5FU (a common IV drip drug for colorectal cancer)?

    I can understand your reluctance to have a port and IV drip chemo. It is yucky and of course involves more time in hospital.

    The final decision, of course, is yours (including whether to have chemo at all). I would encourage you to ask your doctor about the advantages/disadvantages of the different options. Is there evidence that the IV chemo works better than the oral chemo, for your particular situation? But then you also have to take into account the 'quality of life' issues.

    I have struggled with this decision myself. At one stage, I was 'pushing' my doc for oral chemo (xeloda) -- but he thought the drip (in my case, FOLFOX) offered me a better chance for survival/cure. So, that is what I went for.

    Also, even if you opt for the oral (eg xelox), it is often given in combination with a drip. For example, at the moment, I am on a regime called Xelox -- which involves a 2 hr drip of oxaliplatin followed by 14 days of xeloda. I get to avoid the 48 drip I had when I was having FOLFOX but I do still have a drip (and a port).

    I wish you the best of luck with your decision. Ask your doctor lots of questions. And feel free to ask more questions here too.
    Are there specific concerns you have about getting a port, that folk might be able to address?

    Tara
  • claud1951
    claud1951 Member Posts: 424 Member
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    Xeloda
    So glad you found us. Hate to meet like this but you have come to the right place.

    I was Stage 3. Ascending colon. 2 lymph nodes cancerous.

    Of course, you and your Doctors must make the descision of your chemo drugs. My first 4 rounds was the pill, Xeloda plus the IV Oxilplatin (sp). I had to stop those due to side effects. We are all different with side effects. You may not have any. I then went to IV Camptasar and the 5fu pump.

    I would imagine that the usual treatment for Stage 3 is an IV along with pills or a pump.
    There will be other that can tell you more. I can only tell you what I had.
    Why is it that you do not want a port and IV? Should your doctors tell you that you need to have an IV, my opinion is, the best way to go is the Port (which is alwas in the vein it needs to be in and you don't have to worry about them getting a vein (the right one) each time you get your treatment). Does that make sense? Is the doctor telling you will have 6 months of treatment?

    There are those few percent of people that have a problem with the port but I will venture to say that the higher percentage of people are glad they got the port put in.

    Since my treatments stopped, one year ago, I have been free of cancer.

    I wish you all the best. Please come back and share what treatment you will be on.

    Remember...keep your energy for moving forward and keep a great attitude.

    Claudia
  • mzzsandyb
    mzzsandyb Member Posts: 2
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    taraHK said:

    My views
    I am so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis.

    I think you may be talking about the pill Xeloda, which is sort of a pill equivalent to 5FU (a common IV drip drug for colorectal cancer)?

    I can understand your reluctance to have a port and IV drip chemo. It is yucky and of course involves more time in hospital.

    The final decision, of course, is yours (including whether to have chemo at all). I would encourage you to ask your doctor about the advantages/disadvantages of the different options. Is there evidence that the IV chemo works better than the oral chemo, for your particular situation? But then you also have to take into account the 'quality of life' issues.

    I have struggled with this decision myself. At one stage, I was 'pushing' my doc for oral chemo (xeloda) -- but he thought the drip (in my case, FOLFOX) offered me a better chance for survival/cure. So, that is what I went for.

    Also, even if you opt for the oral (eg xelox), it is often given in combination with a drip. For example, at the moment, I am on a regime called Xelox -- which involves a 2 hr drip of oxaliplatin followed by 14 days of xeloda. I get to avoid the 48 drip I had when I was having FOLFOX but I do still have a drip (and a port).

    I wish you the best of luck with your decision. Ask your doctor lots of questions. And feel free to ask more questions here too.
    Are there specific concerns you have about getting a port, that folk might be able to address?

    Tara

    This is some info I
    This is some info I recieeved from a patient on another message board."The 'standard of care' for stage III cancer is either FOLFOX or XELOX. These two are chemo combinations (cocktails) made up of oxaliplatin (the OX) and either the IV form of 5FU (the FOL) or the oral form Xeloda (XEL). EVERY study and I mean EVERY study has proven that Xeloda is just as effective as the infused 5FU and most studies for metastatic cancer show that the Xeloda is actually more effective at tumor shrinkage and tumor progression."
    I just don't want any more cuts on my body. I don't like hospitals much since they almost killed me when I had my ovaries removed in 1999. I also don't want to sit for 3-4 hours having drugs pumped in and then have to go home with a pump for another 24. I just think my quality of life would be better on the pill. I am an addictions counselor and I really want to get back to work and it seems like side effects from the pill would be less of a problem for my working situation. But I am hoping to beat this thing and be cancer free in 5 years. My Aunt had to have a major prt of her colon removed in the 1980's due to colon cancer (mainly because she waited so long to seek treatment) she had to have a bag. She did chemo was cancer free 5 years later and lived another 32 years and died from a heart attack. SO that makes me feel positive about beating it. So I just don't know what I should do My husband and 1 son think I should go with the IV, my daughter and 2 other sons think I should do what I feel will give me the best quality of life.
  • pamness
    pamness Member Posts: 524 Member
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    What is it that bothers you about the port?
    I have a huge problem with antibiotics, which made me nervous about having something inserted into a vein, near my heart, etc. IV's have never bothered me, I have good veins. I don't like pills, in general, as they are hard on the stomach.

    The incidence of infection with the port is very small. The can not administer oxalyplatin via pill.

    I found the port to be really easy, painless, etc. I was stage 3A - did folfox and radiation with 5FU, am currently ned.

    I don't know about your particular situation, but if your best chance for total cure involves a port, IV, etc? Why are you scared? It's not that bad, in many ways chemicals going directly into your stomach are hard to process.

    Please do some research and make the best decision for you and your situation.

    Pam
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
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    oral chemo
    Hi... welcome to the club.... but so sorry you have to be here!

    For starters, I don't think any of us can help make that decision for you. Stage 3 is just a generic... I'm assuming if you were a Stage 3, then you have had surgery to remove part of your colon where the tumour was found? Had the tumour perforated the intestinal wall? Were any lymph nodes involved? So many variances from one patient to another, even though they all may be Stage IIIs.

    I was, like the others, on the pump where I would go to the Cancer Agency and have a drip hooked up to my port for 3 hours or so, then sent home with a portable pump for 36 hours. When I had to go through 6 weeks of radiation, I was put on oral chemo (I forget the spelling of it but it was something like Cebatine, but a longer word). For starters, the oral form was a much milder form of chemo and one that worked well with radiation. My oncologist wanted me to remain on chemo while I was getting my radiation, but the FOLFOX was too strong to be taking and getting radiation at the same time. Even though the oral chemo was milder, I have to say... it was the oral chemo that caused the most nerve damage for me. Granted, Oxipilatin (drip) caused neuropathy in my toes/feet, but the oral chemo did nerve damage in my heels, of which I have yet to recover from and that was 18 months ago.

    I'm not sure what studies you have been given that say oral is just as good or has the same potency as chemo put directly into your system via IV, but this is definitely something you will want to discuss in detail with your oncologist. If his/her answers don't satisfy you, then I would ask to talk to another oncologist.

    I would hate for you to make a decision that will affect your chances of survival... and I guess my gut reaction is, if they have proved that oral chemo produces the same results (or better) than the standard protocols currently being used around the world... then surely oncologists would be using them more than putting patients through the IV/Port process.

    Again... everyone has the right to their own decisions and what would work best for them, but I know that myself, personally, I don't think I would ever base a decision on saving my life based on something I've read on the internet. For sure I would print it off, take it to my oncologist and ask them to explain it or, if they disagree with it, explain why they disagree... but I know I don't have the schooling or education to make decisions like that based on something I've read or been told on the internet.

    Hope this helps!!

    Huggggggs,

    Cheryl
  • menright
    menright Member Posts: 256 Member
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    Xeloda
    I was just recently diagnosed and the plan as it stands today is for Xeloda. I asked my doctors to assure me this is as agressive as IV treatment. I did not want to take the easy road and wish I made a better treatment decision later.

    I was reassured immediately that the Xeloda is an excellent oral chemo option.

    I hope this helps in your decision.

    Good luck.

    Mike