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Folfox and Avastin

walterta's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2011

Well today was my discussion day, I learned that chemo will start on Valentine's Day, lucky me. I got my port in Monday and that went well. Today I learned that I will be receiving Folfox and Avastin and will get them every other week for 3 days. I am very nervous as the side effects list was huge. Please anyone that has taken these provide me some info on what to expect, I am very nervous. I want to hear the good and bad. They mentioned a pump also and they have not yet determined when the radiation will begin I only know it will be 5 days a week. Thank you for any input. I also don't understand I was told chemo for 6 months but my paper says the chemo cycle is 28 days?


okthen's picture
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Tausha,
My husband was on Folfox until he had a reaction to the Oxal so now he is just on the 5fu. He was not on the Avastin. I did want to post though and mention that we did request that he be given a calcium and magnesium infusion before each chemo, it was something I learned about here (thanks again Craig!) There are studies going on right now (DH was approached to be involved in it) to see if the cal/mag reduces the neuropathy that patients experience with the Oxal. (the OX in Folfox) We asked his Onc if he could just get it outside of the study instead of chancing that he would get placebo...Onc agreed. He really had very minor issues with the Oxal, slight cold sensitivity, no neuropathy. His platelets started crashing after treatment 3 I think, then the reaction during treatment 5.
I think the cal/mag helped. I don't want to throw anything else at you, but it might be worth a discussion with your Onc about getting the cal/mag. Other posters here had good results with it, and some said they did not.
I wish you all the best with your chemo and rad...let us know how you are doing!

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I can't help you on the Folfox, I'm not sure of that combo, but I have been and am on the Avastin. The only side affect that I could be getting from that is the high blood pressure, HOWEVER, I had high blood pressure before Avastin, they are just keeping a closer eye on it now, and through medication it's been just fine.
Wishing your family all the best.
Winter Marie

Posts: 1942
Joined: Oct 2009

reported in several publications concerning potential rare side effect (death)

...."The drug's alarmimg problems--severe bleeding, holes in the bowel, problems with wound healing--are already known. The new review, based on an analysis of 16 studies and including more than 10,000 patients, quantifies the risk of death and clarifies how it cuts across different cancers."

"Avastin was first approved for treating advanced colon cancer in 2004. Since then, it gradually gained federal approval for treating other advanced cancers, including breast, kidney and lung. Then in December, its approval for treating breast cancer was withdrawn.....

".....It was the first drug designed to slow tumors by blocking new blood vessels. It worked differently from chemotheraphy and didn;t cause hair loss or nausea......

"It is still approved for advanced cancers of the colon, kidney, brain and lung........

"Just as the drug blocks new blood vessels that nourish tumors, it may also block new vessels that help the body heal and keep tissues strong. The findings highlight the importance of monitoring patients on avastin for bleeding and other warning signs."

The figures provided do not indicate of those who died,what cancer-type was being treated.

Just a heads-up for those on Avastin to speak with doctor about,perhaps.....

(the *** inserted above as typed by me as was"ing"

joy44's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Jan 2011

My husband had his first yesterday, he did the folfox then he will start the avastin the next time because he just got his port last week and so far so good. This place is nice because you get a varity of views.Just remember to breathe and smile, even when things are bad sometimes it relieves the stress for the moment.

Good Luck

Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

I was on the Folfox/Avastin regime in 2007. I did 6 months or 12 treatments. I was able to finish all 12, however it is not uncommon for some to stop early. I did have to have a dose reduction. The side effect I experienced the most was hand/foot syndrome and fatigue. I had extremely red, sore, cracked hands and feet. Bag Balm was a life saver. I also had some slippers with ice inserts that helped ease the fire on my feet. I did have moderate cold sensitivity from the oxy. I kept a pair of gloves by the refrigerator and made sure I was completely bundled up when I went out (it was winter in PA). Avastin did give me nosebleeds.
There were other annoyances as well. It is no pincic but is do-able! YOU will be able to do this! I am very lucky that I have very minimal lingering effects from the chemo. I know this is not the case for many. This is just an overview for you but if you have more specific questions I would be more than happy to answer them. Wishing you much success and hope during your treatment!!


lostit2003's picture
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Tausha

My husband Randy has stage IV CC and did 13 treatment of the folfox/avastin last year. The main problem he had at first was being sensitive to the cold. When they you not to drink anything over ice beleive them. When he got to around treatment 5 or 6 fatigue became a problem 3-4 days after treatment. When it started it would last a couple of days and then it when to about 3-4 days and would get a little worse each time. His white count would get a little low a times but didn't start getting too low for a treatment until about number 9, so he switched to 3 weeks between treatments instead of 2. by the 13th treament the white count wasn't bouncing back so his Dr decided to take a break. That was Sept and he just took a new treatment yesterday, so he had a good break. Now the good news!!! Execpt for the days that the fatigue was really bad he worked the whole time. He played golf quite a bit, he did have to start playing 9 instead of 18 and we went out on the boat with friends almost every weekend last summer. And the BEST NEWS!!!! The tumors in his liver reduced by 10%, his CEA numbers dropped from 320 to 16 and his cancer showed inactive on the CT-scan. Not going to kid you there were days it was really bad for him, but there were far more good days than bad.

Good Luck

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