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Taxol info

Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi All
I'm 35 and was diagnosed with BC in June. I've had a lumpectomy and 7 lypmh nodes removed (2positive).
I will be having Cytoxin and Adriamycin but my oncologist says there are debates currently going on about Taxol and he has not made a decision yet on whether i'll get Taxol.
Has anyone heard about this debate?

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001


The full article is with the above URL. You may have to 'cut and paste ' it instead of just clicking from this site.


Yes, I heard all about it from my oncologist and had read the National Institute of Health Report before that.

Taxol has been under testing as a follow-up after AC for adjuvant chemo ( after surgery) because it appeared to be so effective as tretment for metastatic cancer. So.....

the thinking was, if so effective, why not give it before metastases as a possible safeguard against recurrence.

NIH in Nov 2000 had a national conference and came up with the recommendation that they felt it was too soon to make a specific recommendation to - "YES, include it for node positive women."
The European Community also agreed with the NIH.

But if you read the postings you will see that almost everyone writing here has received the taxol with one or more positive nodes.

Because of this report, I wanted to skip it and avoid the painful hands and feet etc. but my doctor said even a few percentages more in favor of hopefully keeping away a recurrence is the way to go. He said give it a try - #1 was easy - 2 & 3 less and # 4 did leave me with a lot of pain in my left hand. But if I had to do it over, I would because if this beast comes back, I'll feel I did all I could.

I am surprised that your oncologist does not have an opinion. Is he very young or very old?

Best of luck, Jean

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Oh, one extra comment. I'm 63 and that entered into my hesitation about "bothering" with the taxol.

But at 35!!! Not a difficult decision. I would be saying: "Hey, Docs, give me all the "ammunition" you've got!" :-)

Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2001

Thanks Jean for your response. My oncologist is around late 40s but he said since the decision does not have to be made till after AC he'll wait for news about "something" from Sloane-kettering.

Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi there, I have not heard of the Taxol debate, but I can give you my side of it!!
I was dx in Dec 99, breast cancer with mets to the liver. I had seven rounds of the A/C, with no luck in shrinking liver lesions. I took the Taxol as an obvious life saving measure, I had three doses with lots of shrinkage, three more with some growth, then three more with rapid growth. I had to have the Taxol because my other stuff was not working, but I find that alot of ladies with no lymph node involvment have the A/C as a precautionary measure, but then go on to Taxol, what I dont understand is why? Why put yourself through the torment of more chemo if it is not needed? I guess that is up to the patient and onco to discuss.
I am currently on Xeloda, which is an oral chemo that I take at home, I had three cycles with no change in tumours, which to me and my onco is fantastic!!
I wish you luck .

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

>>>>alot of ladies with no lymph node involvment have the A/C as a precautionary measure, but then go on to Taxol, what I dont understand is why? Why put yourself through the torment of more chemo if it is not needed?
Hi Tiger,
Don't know about Canada but in the states taxol is only given to women with one or more nodes positive - and some oncos do not add it. It's supposed to have a benefit of 2-4% and more so with pre-menopausal which is why I went back and forth in deciding if I would take it. It was the onco who thought I should try it because I had a high grade tumor.

That's the debate - how much is a 2-4% advantage?

Hope as you read this, things are going well for you.

Love, Jean

Posts: 270
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi You have the same questions about treatment that I had ... but I didn't have any positive nodes ... but the tumor was plugging the lymph channel so it was just a matter of time. I had 4 sessions of AC and 4 sessions of Taxotere. I read that most people get Taxol .. so I checked the internet to see the difference between the two drugs. I read that they are from the same drug family ... Taxol is US Taxotere is a French drug. They work the same way but Taxotere is 100 times more effective in one process. Plus Taxotere is less harsh on the system. I'm sorry I don't have the exact facts ... surf the net for Taxol vs. Taxotere. You may ask your doctor about Taxotere ... I didn not have nearly the pain I hear that many had with Taxol and I beleive I've had a very aggressive treatment program. Good luck. Jamie

Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2001

Thankx Jamie, I guess I'll have to do more surfing and check out the link posted by Jean. I definitely want to do all i can to stop this thing.

Posts: 53
Joined: Aug 2000

Hi, I had three lymph nodes involved (lobular carcinoma) and I was not offered Taxol. As a matter of fact the only time I've heard of taxol in on this web site. I will be asking some questions about it from my surgeon. Pippi

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