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Stage 111 on 5FU/leuko

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

I should be grateful for anyone who has come through this nightmare having had stage 111 with lymph node involvement and who was treated with 5FU and leukovorin. My husband has had 3 cycles where treatment was given every day for five days, then two weeks off and then 1 cycle of treatment once a week while he was receiving radiotherapy. Now he is having 2 cycles where treatment is given once a week for three weeks and a week off and so on. My concern is that even though the last scan showed no mets and no lymph nodes in the abdomen, I am reading everywhere on these boards that stage 111 patients are getting oxaliplatin to prevent recurrence. I have asked our oncologist about this and he feels it should be used for stage 1V. I just want my husband to get the best treatment.We do not live in the US but even in the UK when we went there for the radiotherapy, he was given just the 5fu. I guess I am looking for assurance!! So, I am asking anyone who has had a similar treatment regime to respond please.

Posts: 19
Joined: May 2002

I may be your guy.

I was diagnosed with stage III CRC in 11/02. Been through the whole process. . .four inch tumor, lymphatic involvement. ..chemo/radiation, then surgery, then "real" chemo.

What would you like to know? I'll do my best to answer.

Feel free to email me directly at novatocabruce@cs.com

And. . .good luck!

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Ali, Just a brief note. I'm being treated for stage III, micromets to 1 node and my onc also says 5FU and leuko are the protocol for my cancer, and agrees that oxaliplatin is for "more advanced" cancer? Don't know if others have the same experience, but I'm also interested to hear more. Regards, Judy

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

Thanks Judy! That is reassuring...I think the jury is not yet in on treating Stage 111 with oxaliplatin. It might be similar to giving antibiotics for a cold to prevent the progression to the flu! We have alot of faith in our oncologist here, which is good as he is the only one!! He feels that oxaliplatin is for stage 1V....I guess some of the feeling is that if you use it now...what would you use if there is a later upgrade to Stage 1V. As I said in my post, we have to trust our doctors but there is so much information out there, it can sometimes cause more worry than staying ignorant!!!

Hope you are keeping a well as can be expected.

Love, Alison

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi, yes, I was also diagnosed w/ Stage III and was given the typical 5-FU/Leuk treatment. Later on I had a liver met develop followed by surgery and chemo where they then gave me Camptosar/Xeloda(pill form of 5-FU). I asked about Oxy and they told me that they would "save" that option in the event, that God forbid, something else pops up. Otherwise I would have been left w/ no options. If a person responds and can be cured w/ 5-FU it is alot better than giving them Camptosar (very nasty) or Oxy which causes more long term damage such as neuropathy. And now there is Avastin too, which can be given w/ Camptosar. Anyway, hopefully he will respond to the 5-FU and that will be that!

bryancarson's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Ali.
I was treated with 5FU and leuko and have been doing fine. I was diagnosed in December of 2002 and had the tumor removed. I had 3 lymph nodes of involvement and no mets to the liver or anywhere else. I went through the treatment, which I must say, did not aggree with me well, and now on the other side have been great. I have been completely clear of any mets or further colon cancer for just over a year now and the docs don't plan on seeing anything happen in the future. If you can beat this with just the two drugs and stay away from the third more potent drug, I would do that.

Best of luck, he'll do great

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

Dear Bryan, Your situation is almost a mirror image of mine, even to the date, Dec. 2002. What I would like to know is, how are you feeling now? Any long-term effects? After all this time, I still tire very easily even though I have remained sensibly active through it all, not overdoing it but trying to keep in resonable shape physically. I also have a lot of joint pain, especially in my hands. My hands are very painful and one doctor told me he thinks it is the result of chemotherapy. He put me on Vitamin B1. I think it may be helping but it is too soon yet to say for sure. I also find that I can't handle much stress. I feel so fragile and it is very frustrating. Do you relate to any of this? I would like to hear from anyone who cares to comment. Sharon

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi. My husband Bert was diagnosed Stage IIIC, four nodes involved, August 2003 and treated up through December with 5fu/leuc...not exactly the full six months he was originally slated for, but his onc seemed to feel it was enough...even though the last couple of treatments had to be at a reduced dosage due to severe, severe diarrhea (which, I might add, was really the only bad side effect that Bert had).

We switched to a new onc in January...someone that came very highly recommended at a major cancer center. This oncologist immediately advised us tha Bert should receive more chemo (at minimum two to three additional months) and he proposed adding the oxilaplatin explaining that even though it is used primarily for treatment in stage iv or more advanced disease, because Bert had four nodes involved, it placed him at a higher risk of recurrence and thus by adding the oxil now, hopefully we would be reducing those chances. We opted to do so and have been on 5fu/oxal/leuc since January 8, 2004 and thusfar, Bert has tolerated all treatments exceptionally well, with no severe (knock wood) side effects at all.

Although posted rather late, I do hope this helps just a little.


alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

Thank you all for your responses...it shows how different doctors have different opinions on treatment. We will just have to hope for the best.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

I was diagnosed with Stage 111 cancer and lymph nodes and had surgery on February 18,2004. It came as a complete shock to me. I never thought about having cancer it was the farthest thing from my mind. At first I did a lot of crying, especially after the onc told me I had to have chemotherapy. I am treated with 5fu/leuko and Fluorouracil. As to date I've only had 1 chemo session. My treatments are 6 weeks on 2 weeks off.I'am still trying to understand where I went wrong, How could I have prevented It, or I should have been more conscious of the disease itself. What I'm really trying to say is I'm out in the ocean and don't know how to swim.

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