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More chemo if no existing disease is present?

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2013

Curious if any of you have had additional rounds of chemo just to prevent possible reoccurance or mets? My dad as some of you might remember really got knocked down by his chemo/radiation treatments as he is a non surgical canidate. But...on the great side there is no existing disease at the moment. His doc is recommending another 2 rounds of just chemo to make sure all cells are killed and there isn't anything floating around so to speak. I can't find any studies to support this. He literally almost died from chemo last time. He spent 3 weeks in the hospital and is still recovering very slowly. Part of me feels like the best thing is to recover and go live your life. Deal with reoccurance if it happens. But...then again maybe a few more rounds of chemo might be curitive as well. I know reoccurance is high with EC, but...2 more rounds of chemo has its risks as well. Has anyone else been told to do more chemo when you appreared disease free?




Deathorglory's picture
Posts: 215
Joined: Jul 2013

Hello Gretchen,


Five and a half years ago I was diagnosed with stage III EC.  I started off with combined chemo & radiation.  Then I had surgery which revealed that the chemo/radiation had been successful, a complete response, there was no evidence of any cancer.  A few months later, after recuperating from the surgery, I did a full course (12 weeks) of "bonus" chemo.  as a preventative measure.  I liked to describe it as bayonetting the corpses just to make sure they're all really dead.  Two and a half years after finishing that, I had a recurrence in a lung that was pretty bad.  Even though the bonus chemo didn't work out exactly as I had hoped, it was the right thing for me.  I was only 41 at the time and I wanted (and still want) to be as aggressive as possible in killing the stuff off.  I was (and am) looking at figuring out how to live for decades, not years or months.  I only offer this as one person's experience, your father has to figure out what is going to be best for him.  Some of the chemo regimens can be pretty brutal and I completely understand some folks' reluctance to go through it if not absolutely necessary.


Wishing you continued success in your fight,



servman86's picture
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2013

Hi Getchen,

As we all know everyone's cancer and everyone's treatment is different.  I was diagnosed 14 years ago with stage III EC.  I went through my radiation first, then surgery (removed 60% of the esophagus & 30% of the stomach.  This was then followed by 6 months of chemo therapy (just to be safe).  As I stated earlier, this was 14 years ago.  I obviously have been blessed by the regiment that was prescribed for me.  I have to admit that I was a bit naive about the EC thing when I was going through it, and probably did not ask a lot of the right questions at the time.  However; I also have to admit that I think was given the absolute best care that I could have gotten.   I am thankful for my doctors, thankful for their knowledge, and thankful that what they prescribed for me...worked for me.   Your father will have to choose what is right for him.  What his decision is...is the right course to travel. 

God Bless you all.


Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2012

I have stage4 ec, non surgical canditate.  I was diagnosed in Jan of 2012.  I was on chemo until 8 weeks ago, had a scan that said I was cancer free.   Doctors said I should have chemo for life.  They call it maintainence chemo to keep the disease in check.  I have decided not to continue with the treatments as they can't say for sure it is going to help.  I figure I was strong enough to handle it the first time around and if it comes back I will take care of it then.  This is a personal choice that I have made while consulting with my doctors and nurses.  They were against it at first but they understand why we choose not to be sick all the time from the chemo.   Like i said, this is not the recommended treatment protocol.  Speak to your health care professionals before making any decisions.  They want me to have it every 2 weeks forever, so a couple of treatments don't seem so bad.  Everyone is different, the chemo made me sick but my organs never brokedown and my immune system stayed healthy.  Since I've been off the chemo I'm starting to feel a little better.  Takes some time to get out of your system.  Hope this helps

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