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R-EPOCH if you are over the age of 70?

hopefulsmurfette
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2020

Hello! Has anyone over the age of 70 on this forum gotten R-EPOCH chemo? My Dad, who is 75, might have the chance to get R-EPOCH chemo. Is it too risky? 

PBL
Posts: 219
Joined: Jul 2016

Hi,

As a rule, doctors' first intention is to keep the patient alive and as well as possible while treating, so if the medical team decides in your father's case, and based on preliminary tests, that he can withstand R-CHOP or R-EPOCH, then he very likely can. Of course, this is not exact science, and mishaps can occur.

If a patient is deemed too frail to undergo harsh treatment, or if the treatment would be of no significant benefit to the patient, then the doctors will refrain from going that route.

What matters is how well - generally speaking - your father is, not so much his age

One thing he might consider, if he is in the United States and isn't already being seen at a NCI designated cancer center or teaching hospital, is to at least seek a second opinion from a hematologist (not just an oncologist) at one such facility. 

I hope this helps. Do keep us posted.
PBL

Evarista's picture
Evarista
Posts: 287
Joined: May 2017

"R-EPOCH" is actually actually "DA-R-EPOCH".  The "DA" stands for "Dose-Adjusted".  That means that your dad's doctors and pharmacists(s) will monitor his lab functions on a regular basis and increase or decrease the dose of certain components if indicated (initial dosage based on body weight). I had DA-R-EPOCH 3 years ago at age 68.  Daily blood work while in-hospital on chemo, twice weekly blood work in between treatment rounds, pre-admission blood work on the day the next round of treatment scheduled to begin. No lie:  it was not fun, but I was extremely ill when I started, so I had a pretty long hill to slog to get back. At 3 years out, still in complete remission (DLBCL, double-expressor but not double-hit).  Doing well, physically active, and living a good life. If he does this (or R-CHOP), encourage him with all your might to stay as physically active as he possibly can. Best of luck going forward and please come back with additional questions if you have them.

Apropos PBL's additional comment:  I was/am treated at NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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