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Tarceva without traditional chemo

PureCDN
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

My Mother-in-law has been taking Tarceva for 5 weeks now, but I read that Tarceva is a maintenance drug commonly used after traditional chemo. She's not being offered traditional chemo, but did just finish 2 weeks of radiation on the brain for 7 masses on the brain. Has anyone taken Tarceva as a primary fighter medication like this before?

bregem
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

My mother has been on Tarceva for 4 weeks now for lung cancer. The Dr wanted mum to start with this instead of the traditional chemo which she said is not the normal practice. I can only assume the tumour is aggressive and they want to fight it to stop any increase. After 8 wks she will be put onto normal chemo.

PureCDN
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks so much for your reply. What stage is your Mom in and does she have cancer anywhere else? Did they explain why they are waiting 8 weeks to start traditional chemo?

bregem
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi,
Have discovered that mum is stage 4 cancer as has spread to liver and rib. Has now been on Tarceva for 8 weeks and is just starting to get side effects like hands peeling and face starting to blister. However her CEA levels have jumped from 245 to 610 which means the tumour in lung has grown.

Basically I think they are putting her on this rather then regular chemo because she is too advanced and this will try and slow things down.

All I can say to you is research and make sure you ask questions - my mum didn't even know what stage she had until I went to an appt and asked. Might not always be the answer you want but better to be informed and make the most of the time you have left.

My thoughts are with you

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