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Stage IIII C

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2008


My brother-in-law (42) has been diagnosed with stage III C of colorectal cancer. He had a successful surgery and they removed the colon and 8 lymph nodes. The doctor has indicated that the following:

TNM staging - T3N2MO

He also suggested three Chemotherapy options :

5-FU+ Lucovorin

He indicated his preference is for option 2 above, but also said that option 3 is descreases the likilhood of recurrence by 5-10% only (and is also very expensive). Is this correct? I would like to get some opinion on FOLFOX4. Also, is there anything that he can do to reduce the side effects from the treatment. The doctor sounded very confident that he should be fine after the chemo and that there should be no problems. But I am discouraged by some of the numbers that I see. Any suggestions/help here will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot,

kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

I'm so sorry about your brother's diagnosis. Sounds like he has a lot of options. It seems most of us go the FOLFOX route because it seems to work well. The side effects are miserable, but i have heard of people who have none. The majority of us get varying degrees of neuropathy (sensitivity to cold, and even sometimes to touch). It's almost a pins and needles type of feeling, but if you drink something cold, it can make your throat feel like it's closing shut). One of the other major side effects i had was mucositis (sores in the mouth) that can travel down the esophagus. This didn't happen to me until way into my treatments, though, and i think FOLFOX 4 is four months, i had six months, so he may not get that side effect.

My best advise to you and your brother would be not to listen too closely to statistics. They can be very discouraging, and they are not accurate. I am a stage IIIB, and the statistics say i have a 60% chance of dying from this disease within the next five years. That statistic does not take into account that i'm 39 years old, and relatively healthy.

I hope this helps! Please keep us up to date on how he's doing.
Many hugs,

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Sarav -

Welcome to the site. All I can say is Krista hit the nail on the head! I will echo her sentiments about not paying attention to the stats. Odds are for bookmakers in Las Vegas and expiration dates are for cartons of milk. Attitude is 80% of the cure so encourage your brother.

- SpongeBob

Madre's picture
Posts: 124
Joined: Apr 2008

I was diagnosed stage 3b in April. Had surgery and started FOLFOX and erbitux. Round 1 was horrible but they did some adjusting.I only received 2 doses of erbitux, I had too many side effects that outweighted the benefits. They also reduced the FOLFOX on round 2 by 20%. For every symptom I had my doctors had a prescription to help me, mouth sores I got BMX mouth rinse (gone in 3 days) the nausea they gave me better meds too. I did lose a lot of weight becaseu nothing sounded good to eat but now I am on emend and decadron (steroid) and I feel great. I can eat (gained back 25 pounds that I lost). I just had #8 out of 12 yesterday and they had to hold the Oxiplatin due to nerve damage, but they started me on b6 and b complex vitamins to help rebuilt the nerve endings. Keep open and honest with your doctors. Don't wait till your next appointment to tell them of anything different than your norm. They can help you then while you are symptomatic. My doctors are really concerned about quality of life as well as treatment and everyone is different so they start with what they know then tweek it to fit you individually. Good luck, the beginning is the harded but it gets easier.

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

I was on FLOFOX and my treatments were every other week for 6 months for a total of 12 treatments. I had a port surgically implanted to receive chemo.

Treatments would begin by arriving at the hospital, getting weighted, blood pressure taken and then speaking with the Onc. Nurse, then onto the room.

I would get my blood drawn to see how my blood counts (white & red) were doing, palates, etc to make sure I could receive the treatment. If bloodwork counts came back good, I would first get my pre-meds for nausea and allergic reactions. Then I would receive a calcium and magensaum IV infusion first and then the chemo drugs of Lecovorin and Oxilipation and then the 5FU pump for 46 hours.

Side effects did not begin with me until after the 3rd treatment which varied and consisted of the following:

Flushing of face and neck
Burning of throat - too Nexium
Sore mouth - Took Magic Mouthwash
Sensitivity to cold weather, cold temps, foods and beverages. My Onc. Nurses told me about this the first day. So I basically drank room temp water, did not eat cold food, wore gloves to get into the frig and freezer and during the winter months, wore hat, scarf, gloves and scarf around my mouth.
Tingling of hands, arms and feet
Wrists would lock-up while typing
Increase heart rate (not alarming)

I did not experience nausea or fatigue issues. I tried to keep up on my exercises but with so many surgeries and a few issues, it was hard to do.

Keep in mind that everyone's DNA is different so side effects will vary per individual. I hope this helps

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