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Is Avastin worth the possible side effects?

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 642
Joined: Dec 2017

My oncologist wants me to have that with the Folfox. I was reading the possible side effects and YIKES! Does anyone know if that drug is worth the risks?

lizard44's picture
lizard44
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

The side effects list for Avastin is pretty scary.  I had Avastin with 8  Folfox  treatments as my initial chemo in 2015.  The combination worked well to reduce  my rectal tumor before surgery and I didn't have any of the nasty side effects that time around. I'm back on Folfox  plus Avastin now that there's been a recurrence and I am having  a few more side effects such as dry mouth, change in taste and fatigue but that could be the cumulative effects of  3  years of chemo, surgeries, and the cancer itself.

It was worth the risk for me, but that's something you and your doctor will have to decide. If you do go ahead with it make sure to  let your doctor know of any side effects you might have. Best of luck, whatever you decide.

Grace/lizard44

 

Woodytele
Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2017

My initial Folfoxiri chemo included Avastin.  I unfortunately got a bowel perforation due to Avastin, and had to be stopped.  This is somewhat rare, but did occur.  

Kevin1224
Posts: 34
Joined: Jun 2018

my wife was on 5FU with Avastin and it caused very bad bleeding.  They had to monitor it and weeks her blood count was low they did not give it to her until they perminetaly took her off of it.  The other side effect is high blood pressure.  

 

Kevin

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 642
Joined: Dec 2017

Thanks. Those are exactly the side effects I am worried about being worth the benefit it might have.

Tunadog's picture
Tunadog
Posts: 233
Joined: Mar 2017

Besides the minor side effects I got an abscess in my rectum.

Two visits to the ER and about a month in the hospital.

I’m now recovering at a Sub-acute facility. I need Physical Therapy so I can walk upstairs to my bedroom. (Three level house}

It’s working and I’m ready to go home.

It has gotten rid of the cancer.

Peace and love to all

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

For me, a definite yes!  The only side effect I had was annoying nasal congestion and a slight rise in BP, easily fixed by adjusting BP med.  Being Stage 4, I would have done anything.  After Xeloda.oxaliplatin, I had Avastin only for 1 treatment short of 2 years.  We discontinued it at that time due to a very minor GI bleed (never could find origin).  Every doc including my onc thought it was due to my arthritis med, but we decided to be very cautious and discontinue the Avastin.  I decided to also stop the arthritis NSAID.  I'll never know which drug helped the most, but I was diagnosed 13+ years ago with liver met which disappeared with the xeloda/oxy/avastin combo, then had a tiny lung met show up in 2008 which is when we did Avastin for 2 years following surgery. I have been NED for 9 1/2 years, so I am a big Avastin fan.

If you look at the list of possible oxaliplatin side effects, they are pretty scary also. 

Good luck with your decision.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 642
Joined: Dec 2017

Wait a minute. Did you have surgery? My oncologist told me this will always come back since I can't have surgery, and that I will never go as long as a year without having a recurrence. I kept bringing up that maybe, and he was adamant at pushing going long years without it out of my head. And congrats!. I guess I will do that one, and just be diligent on watching for symptoms.

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

Had colon surgery but never liver.  I am incredibly lucky - your oncologist is certainly statistically correct.  When the liver met disappeared, we kept up very active surveillance (every 2 months, both CT and PET and a couple of MRI's).  I had a brief consult with a renowned liver surgeon (was at John's Hopkins then - somewhere in Texas now) - his take was to keep up the active surveillance and not do surgery at that time since met was no longer detectable.  Liver has been clear since 12/05.  Like I said, I know I'm lucky, but it is possible for chemo alone to do the trick

 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 642
Joined: Dec 2017

That is the best reason for me to give the Avistan a try. Who knows if that us what did it, but maybe. Maybe just a miracle. But it gives me hope. Thank you!

Joan M's picture
Joan M
Posts: 378
Joined: Oct 2016

The Avastin can cause side effects as mentioned above but is the most tolerable of those I'm on.  I was on Avastin and Xeloda for 13 months and did really well.  My hair grew back and had only slight growth in  a couple of tumors in my lungs, but no new tumors.  I had gall bladder problems and related surgeries so was off chemo from August 2017 until January 2018 and of course had some growth in tumors, including colon tumor growing back.  I had colon resection in April and went on Folfiri in June 2018.  I get sick from the Folfiri combo, lost my hair again. The Avastin can cause higher blood pressure and other problems but doesn't make you feel sick like the other chemo meds.  

myAZmountain
Posts: 269
Joined: Apr 2018

Am on folfox/avastin  completed 6 cycles and small tumors in lung are gone, the 2 largest have shrunk 50%.  Avastin makes my nose run constantly and is usually blood tinged, also makes my BP go up--Every time I go to clinic it is sky high. But I have had good results with tumor shrinkage (lung meets) so i will carry on. So sorry you had those spots turn out to be cancer Abita. 

 

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 996
Joined: Aug 2013

My wife had no problems with avastin, it didn't really slow the brain tumor, but she had no ill affects from it........................................................Dave

plsletitrain
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

but discontinued it because it was too expensive for me.  But out of the 2 times I had it, I didn't experience any side effect.

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 531
Joined: Aug 2006

Stage 4 here and I am going on 12 years past dx. Lots of surgeries and I did have folfox w/avastin. My philosophy was do it all. W

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