I just don't want to use Adriamycin

praiseJesus Member Posts: 33
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
In 3 weeks I start TAC for my treatment....But I will not take the Adriamycin....I wil have to go through things sure...but I don't want the Heart damage associated with this drug.Has anyone else said no to this particular drug and if so were you able to use another drug in its place that worked just as good without the risk and complications of severe heart problems? Don't get me wrong I want to do everything possible to win this battle....but I will not take a drug that will leave me with very serious and long standing harm like that, when I never had it in the first place, only have one heart and it keeps things running too even long after all this.Feed back is welcomed......please.Thankyou....God Bless All!


  • base61ball
    base61ball Member Posts: 125
    Yes it can cause heart problems, but not always. I had heart problems going into chemo and it did not do further damage. I know that all the stuff you read can scare you - but I am here to tell you my heart is okay - (had an echocardiogram after all was done). They have to tell you the absolute worst case scenario. Every precaution is taken to minimize problems.

    Don't know if this helps - all the decisions we have to make are pretty darn hard at a time when we want things to go smoothly. Hugs to you.
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    The Adriamycin did NOT damage my heart, either. I am 59, and am competing in a half-marathon in 3 weeks, and there is absolutely NO WAY I could/would do this with heart damage! Weigh all of your options, and of course speak frankly with your medical team.

    Hope this helps!

  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    Hi Praise,

    I had four cycles of Adriamycin in 1998 with no adverse affects to my heart. Prior to receiving the Adriamycin they did a Mugga (heart test) and then did one afterwards which showed no damage. I agree with the others that the onco must disclose the worst case scenario to you so you are aware of the possible side effects. I admit we are all different and our bodies will not react the same, that said I hope this helps as I just want to reassure you. Wishing you all the best as you go for treatment.

  • Irishwhispers
    Irishwhispers Member Posts: 96
    It is all scarey....
    Hugs to you (((Praise)) I am in the middle of my chemo and it is Adriamycin and Cytoxan
    ... I have had so far 2 Mugga Scans.. and I am only having 4 treatments..of chemo and will have another Mugga after treatments are completed...

    The one thing I decided to do, once I knew I had to make some of the most serious choices in my life, as long as I felt confident and completely satisfied with my Healthcare Team, I was going to go forth with the treatment... and yes, do some research on the medications however, just like any of the drugs you see advertised on TV most of the side effects are worse than the condition itself. Thing is they have to inform you of the worse case scenerio.

    One thing I didnt do, which surprised me at this time was I didnt over research, I asked questions, and did read enough to feel informed enough to make the choice to fo forth with the chemo.

    .... and all of this is so very scarey.


  • BOWMAN57
    BOWMAN57 Member Posts: 4
    I can agree with all the comments on this page. Adriamycin is no fun and has some risks but we live with all kind of risks each day. After 2 of my 3 adriamycin treatements, I could tell that my tumor had shrunk by about 1/2. Don't let fear be the deciding factor in this decision. I too, run 5K and 10K races with no ill effects and one of those drugs may have even saved my life. Keep looking ahead, you'll get there.
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    Side Effects
    The oncologist told me the first time he met me that he HAD to tell me ALL the side effects of the treatment (tamoxifen at that time) I was going to be offered. It is something that ethical doctors MUST do. That said, he also pointed out that most of the really bad stuff with tamoxifen(strokes, blood clots, death...)usually happened to folks way older(like in their 80's and 90's)than I was then (I was in my mid-forties). My sister the doctor pointed out that doctors must take a vow to "First do no harm". If it was surely going to stop your ticker from ticking, they wouldn't bother to give it to you. They truly do need to do a thorough evaluation of your current health before they give you such a strong drug. They also must be aware of various side effects and observe you for any and all bad reactions while you are on such strong medicines. They will stop medicines that are causing more harm than good. Some folks cannot complete chemo because of side effects. That has consequences too-life shortening ones usually--but doctors in my state can't intentially end your life, cancer or not. You can help by informing them what side effects you notice. Medical professionals will immediately stop giving you any medicine that is causing life-threatening harm to your body. The only reason they inform you of all the side effects is so you can be aware and work with them.

    A note: I have two kinds of cancer, breast and lung. There are tons of different drugs for different kinds of breast cancer that are fairly effective in beating back the beast. Adriamycin is one of those drugs. It is especially recommended for breast cancer that is aggressive and likely to kill. There are precious few drugs for defeating lung cancer and they are not so great at stopping the monster. If I go to stage 4 lung cancer I have about a 2 year life expectency. I have a 50-50 chance of reoccurance at this point. Not good. They can't give me anything to reduce or prevent a reoccurance. No research. No medicine. All they can do is cut out my lung lobes until I am down to one lung total. My kind of lung cancer can reoccur on either side and so far I'm minus the middle right lobe. I am also scared of side effects, but I wish my oncologist had something to prevent or treat the kind of lung cancer I have whether or not it had side effects. He doesn't. Only you can decide if you will go through breast cancer chemo as recommended or skip it. Get another oncology opinion if you have qualms, but listen to what they are saying. They want to help and won't recommend something that causes more harm than benefits. If there are health reasons why you think you would be a poor candidate with this drug, please inform your doctors. They may agree and have to consider other treatment options if there are any. Doctors will only fight as hard as you want them to fight. You have to tell them what you want because there are no sure solutions to this problem. Good luck!
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    I am getting Adriamycin right now. Before starting it, my onc sent me for a MUGA scan, to make sure that my heart was in good shape. He also continues to monitor my heart function. No problems thus far.

    The doctors monitor things very closely, at least that has been my experience. And unless you hav a known heart problem, I don't think that you should fear the drug quite so much.

    However, that is solely my opinion....

    Best wishes,
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    I just wanted to tell you
    I just wanted to tell you that I had 8 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxan and 5FU which is the treatment known as CAF. It's very aggressive and hopefully has killed any random cell floating around. I had my heart checked prior to chemo and after chemo and everything is fine. I know they have to tell you all the side effects of these drugs, but before you make such a drastic decision ask for the percentage rates. It may look totally different.;l Good luck and God bless, Lili
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Oh, sweetie...such a choice!
    I agree with the comments here....

    I had Adriamycin, and did need to skip the last one because I exibited signs of heart trouble....BUT (and that's as big as I can get the BUT) I had been, just barely 6 months earlier, on a full course of chemo, including carboplatin (a drug KNOWN for it's heart troubles), for colon cancer. If I had to do it again (which I can't), I would STILL go for the Adriamycin....it is the most efficient drug in the battle with breast cancer at this time.

    The key is to report ANY changes in your heart (I had rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness) to your oncologist......mine skipped the last one of that, and went on to Taxol...

    I had a full tumor board following my progress, since 2 cancers in less than a year is odd...and they all agreed....

    You need to trust that your treatment team knows the risks, and has weighed them against the benefits....

    Drink PLENTY of water the day before, day of, and day after infusion....and ask for a hydration bag after the infusion....this helps flush the chemo as fast as possible...but be prepared to make frequent stops in the bathroom...lol...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • ladybug22
    ladybug22 Member Posts: 646
    I take a heart test every 3
    I take a heart test every 3 months and my heart is fine .good luck
  • PattyB5533
    PattyB5533 Member Posts: 24
    As a nurse I can tell you the doctor has to tell you all the side effects possible. I am on the 4 AC then 4 T, Only 1 more chemo to go...yeah. With my research Adriamycin is one of the top dogs to combating breast Ca. Please do your research and ask questions before declining. I have a rare, aggressive breast Ca called sarcoma, so I felt I needed the Adriamycin. I haven't had the post MUGA scan yet, but have not had any heart related issues. Good Luck and GOD Bless Patty B