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Stop chemotherapy at the 4th cycle? Too soon?

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2012

My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer Stage IIIc in June this year, had 2 cycles of Carbo/Taxol then debulking surgery in September. Since then she had 2 more cycles of chemo. CA125 went from 1600 at the time of diagnosis to now 25 right before her 4th cycle. She had a total of 4 cycles of chemo. She is starting to develop neuropathy, numbness in her fingers and feet, but still no problem with walking and cooking. Today, she saw her oncologist who gave her the option of stopping chemotherapy because her CA125 is back to normal and she has worsening neuropathy. The typical chemo treatment protocol is 6 cycles, but she now has the option of stopping after 4 cycles. We are not prepared for this and are surprised that stopping chemo is even an option for her right now. Has anyone had similar experience? Any advise or comment?

Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2011

I wouldn't feel comfortable stopping at 4. Not with a 3c diagnosis. There are other options with regards to chemo. I did 2 rounds of carbo/taxol and then switched to carbo/taxotere for the remaining 4 rounds because of neuropathy. Taxotere is a similar, less neurotoxic drug. I was sicker on the taxotere but the neuropathy got better. It has never gone away though. My oncologist told me to take vitamin b 6 100mg 3 times a day which helps alot with the neuropathy. I was also on neurontin which helped alot as well. I stopped taking it when the neuropathy got better because I wanted to get off as much medication as possible. She can do just the carbo for two more rounds. My onc told me carbo is the heavy hitter out of the two. I am very suprised your mother's doctor would give her the option of stopping chemo altogether. If I were her, I would ask about switching out the taxol for taxotere of finishing the remaining two rounds with just carbo. My neuropathy was so bad, I thought my life was ruined. I do understand how bad it can get and that you have to balance treatment with quality of life. But there are options besides taking a drug that will make her neuropathy worse or stop chemo.

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 569
Joined: Jul 2012

I asked my doc one day before chemo started if my cal25 got to a normal level could i stop. She said a blunt Nope right away. My ca level was high 200's before surgery and 19 the morning I started chemo. I was in the normal range and she still made me do 6 rounds. Just to throw it out ther a friend of mine had OC and Her doc let her stop after 3 and she was back in having chemo again for months later for cancer growth found near her stoamach wall during a gall bladder removal surgery.

They can lower the dose on the chemo.

I did cisplatian/taxol and she gave me the option of lowering the dose of taxol. I had
two cycles left and so I said no. I can live with neuropathy Icant live with cancer.

Adter chemo was over I lived with the neuropathy for a couple months. It was summer and I could wear flip flops and sandles. Then I realized my feet were totaly uncomfortable in shoes and fall was coming. The neuropathy was bad still. I went and saw my doc and she put me on a low dose of gabapenten and my neuropathy symptoms are gone.

azgrandma's picture
Posts: 603
Joined: Feb 2010

I ws only able to recieve 4 rounds of carbo due to extremely low white count that took 3 years to come back to normal. They treid all they could to try to let me do the 6 rounds. I would take all of them if i were you better to have some discomfort with neuropathy than the cancer you want to make sure it is gone

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