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Endometrial Chemo

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2008

My mother has been diagnosed with a recurrence of endometrial cancer, grade 2, to her pelvic lymph nodes. Her oncologist has recommended 6 months of taxol, adria and platinum chemotherapy followed by radiation. Is this chemotherapy considered better than the regimen of just platinum and taxol? Which is worse in terms of side effects and toxicity? I am concerned because my mother gets sick easily with other medications but at the same time want her to have treatment that will give her the best chance for recovery. I'd appreciate comments or advice from anyone who has been through this.

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi. I'm sorry that the cancer has returned. I had a grade 1 endometrial cancer and a stage 2-a colon cancer. I only had surgery for the endometrial, but I did have follow-up chemo for the colon cancer. Part of my regimen was oxaliplatin which is platinum based. I have to say that I only did 9 of 12 recommended treatments due to side effects. The effects got more pronounced each time, however everyone is different. Some people go thru it with few side effects, and others have a harder time. As time went on, my main problems were more pronounced nausea and a foul taste which made everything (even water) taste really bad. Between this and the nausea, my nutrition and hydration status became compromised, and I think that made things worse. I would recommend strict attention to be paid to both of those things. Also, as time went on, neuropathy in my extremeties became more and more pronounced. I still have numb feet and the pads of my fingers also remain numb. I am just over a year out of chemo. The neuropathy stems from the platinum. Again, I must stress that everyone is different and side effects differ as to type and severity. Finally, when on oxaliplatin one must stay away from cold. Don't breathe cold air or touch cold things. Gloves should be worn when reaching into the refrigerator and don't step on cold tile. It doesn't actually cause damage, but it sure is uncomfortable. Liquids should be taken at room temperature or actually warmed. Hot tea was a great way to get liquids, since lukewarm anything is not very palatable. After each treatment, identify what is appetizing and try to eat as much of that as possible. If your mother has favorite foods, try to save them for after chemo, since one can get really turned off a food due to taste issues during chemo. Discuss any supplements with her oncologist, as some vitamins and minerals can interfere with the medications in her regimen. This is all I can suggest. I will be praying for you both.

Posts: 648
Joined: Mar 2003

I had carboplatin and taxol chemo after my surgery for Stage 1b uterine cancer, and was found to have Stage 1c ovarian; hence, the chemo. I suggest you look up those treatments on the ACS main site to find out about the side effects, but everything depends on the person who is being treated. Taxol is made with a plant derivative, so the first treatment is usually given in a hospital in case of an allergic reaction. From what I remember, taxol is given to "freeze" the fast-growing cells to give the platinum-based drug time to work on them (that's why your hair usually falls out, and fingernails slow way down). Adria is doxorubicin, which has its own set of possible side effects - but I've know women who have had it and had good results without too much extra trouble. My chemo definitely had cumulative effects of tiredness as I got further along in the therapy, but it's been five years since I had it, and only recently have had indication of recurrence.

You should help your mom know what the effects can be, but try to not put it in her mind that it will be bad. I had a lot of trepidation about having chemo, but it really wasn't that bad until a couple of days after the treatment.

I've read some really good things about intraperitoneal treatment with chemo, when it's put right into the body cavity, rather than having to go into the blood and get there "the hard way". I'm going to ask about it if I have to have further treatment. Not every hospital/treatment center is able to do it.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

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