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Opinion about Avastin & Cetuximab

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

My husband has a strong will to live even though our doctors are only treating him for pain. Since June of 2003, our doctors have decided not give my husband any chemo treatment due to getting an strepocotoics in his blood last year. Doctors ruled that he was due to the chemo treatment that weaken his immune system. Since then my husband has not had any treatment. The disease has metastized to his stomach, bladder and to his lungs. The tumor contiunes to grow but they will not allow no treatment. Our doctors feel that it would be malpractice or unethical to give him any treatment. The two new drugs (Avastin & Cetuximabon) approved by FDA should like that can help shrink his tumors. My husband has not accept the will to die. He wants to live. What do you think I should do? Does anyone know of any real good oncologist in the Northern part of Illinois or even Wisconsin? I want to find a new doctor that will be open-minded about this. Our doctors threw in the towel last year. Please help.

Tessyann's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: Apr 2004

Aww sam I am so sorry they are treating you and your husband like this. I know how hard it is when the treatment option become smaller and smaller. this is what happening to my husband. I wouldnt yet give up hope tho... I head for the nearest Cancer center ... a center that deals just with cancer or atleast had a large program for it.. They may not beable to cure him at this stage but atleast may beable to delay or help with a better pain management.We had a doctor at sloan talk to us about quality of life issue how far is too far..Since Ben and me are just coming back after almost 6 year of remission I too am interested in these new drugs ... Are they the main chemo or just additive to the older ones like 5fu and CPT11..
But here a (((((((((hug)))))))))))) to you from me

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Samson,

Would you consider contacting the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (800.577.1255). There is one in northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border. There is also a good doctor in Kenosha, WI-- Dr. Alwa. She is not an oncologist per se but she may give you some hope in treating cancer.

Books for you:

Beating Cancer With Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quillin

When Hope Never Dies by Marlene McKenna

A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm

A Cancer Battle Plan Sourcebook by David Frahm

Here's a start. Don't give up. There are PLENTY of ways to treat cancer that do not include chemo if the oncologists refuse. There ARE alternatives. What do you have to lose if they won't treat your husband?

peace, emily

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004


I can not find this Dr. Alwa. Do you have phone number or address? We are using another alternative supplements for him but that's about it.

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I don't know if you have already done so, but go to a major cancer center with a GI division... Sloan Kettering or Dana Farber or MD Anderson (NY, Boston, Houston). AT LEAST call and talk to someone.

All cancer agents have side effects, even the angiogenesis inhibitors (stops blood vessels from forming).

Make sure to get as much information as possible, so you can feel OK with all decisions.

Best of luck! jana

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

I am so sorry to hear about your husband. It may be that there are some strong reasons not to treat your husband with routine chemotherapy, but certainly I would want to hear that from a number of people before I gave up. I would go for a second opinion at a major cancer center and would want to discuss use of these newer drugs which do not suppress the immune system.

There are several centers in the Chicago area, as well as the U of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center in Madison.

As Teresa said, although the likelihood of cure for Stage 4 disease is low, perhaps treatment could provide some quality time.

Take care,


Posts: 102
Joined: Apr 2004

Please do try to get a second opinion. My hubby is also stage 4 with a met to the liver. He just started on avastin on Friday. I do know they will not give avastin without chemo - it only works with chemo and not by itself. I am unsure about he other drug though. If it were me I would difinately check into a second or third opinion for treatment. We won't give up either. I would also follow Emily's advice as she is not doing chemo either, I think. There are lots of natural/herbal remedies out there. Someone at the onc. told us coral calcium helped a relative to survive... Can't say whether it's true or not, but maybe something to check out more info on... I would deifnately give up on a doctor before I'd give up on my husband. People do survive stage 4. It can happen! Look up The Vandegrift Hypothesis at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/FPS_1_Colon_Cancer_Survivor_Proves_Doctors_Wrong.asp?SiteArea=

Good luck and God Bless!
Sally Jo

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