How long can one do chemo for


My dad, who is almost 78, has been doing IV chemo every other week for his colorectal cancer which spread to his liver for about 3 months.  He has had about 7 treatments of IV 5-FU, Irinotecan, Avastin, & Leuucovorin so far.  His last Petscan in February showed previous liver lesions and periaortic lesions to be no longer present.  His oncologist told us this was great news, but he told us the cancer is still there.  His next Petscan is scheduled for June.  My question is how long does one do IV chemo for?  He is doing as well as can be expected, but he is tired, has lost his appetite and weight and the neuropathy in his hands & feet is bothering him.  Thanks for any help or insights.  


  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624 Member
    There is no one, answer

    Everyone is different.  When I first started chemo I was on it for 10 months before I could have surgery.  I have been on chemo with the exception for time off for surgeries, (usually 4 to 5 weeks before and after surgery) for over five years now.  With the exception of Irenotican, I am on the same regime as your father at the moment.  Although my Oncologist did mention adding Irenotican as my CEA has gone up again.

    Others can go on chemo, have their tumors shrunk enough for surgery in just a very few months and be fine.  There is no telling with this cancer, it all depends on your father's tumor response to the chemo.  It could be three or four months, it could be a year or more.

    You just have to hope for the best, try and think positive (a week after getting out of hospital after liver resection I was at college taking my finals) have him get out as much as possible and enjoy life, just don't let him sit around thinking about this darn cancer and how long things will take.  Even short walks near the house would be good for him as a form of exercise.  As chemo and cancer patients we tend to learn where every available bathroom is on our routes to work, college, doctors etc.

    It seems to me that your doctor is thrilled at the shrinking of tumors and having a PET scan in June may show enough shrinkage for surgery even, any shrinkage of tumors is a good foot forward, here's to it continuing and him getting rid of those pesky tumors And a great PET scan in June.

    Winter Marie

  • tanstaafl
    tanstaafl Member Posts: 1,313 Member

    LuvinLife2 extended her Folfiri tx series 2-3 yrs with IV vitamin C + vitamin K3, 1-2x per week, after being ready to quit Folfiri much earlier.  Her clinic in Canada apparently had a lot of stage IV CRC successes with much improved quality of life and longer survival.