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446896 tn?1237806342

Considering Stopping Chemotherapy...PLEASE HELP

Hello,

My mother has stage IIA IDC with no lymph node involvement.  She has taken two infusions of TC (taxotere cytoxin) already, but has had both a severe allergic reaction to the Tax during both infusions, and then recently a delayed allergic reaction to it (which is extremely rare).  After meeting with her onco today, he gave her two options:  (1) Stop chemo altogether and move straight on to radiation and hormone therapy or (2) replace the TC with AC (Adriamycin cytoxin) for her remaining two infusions.  I should backstep for a moment here and tell you that the reason she is receiving chemo, even though the cancer was not found in her lymph nodes, is because she scored high on the OncoType test, which predicts that her particular cancer has a high likelihood of reoccurance.  

My whole family is up in arms about this decision.  For one, if she chooses to stop the chemo, the onco said that he doesn't know whether or not the two hits of TC that she has already taken will suffice to kill out any rogue cancer cells that may be elsewhere in her body.  However, if she takes another two hits of chemo (even though it will be with a different cocktail of drugs), then it reduces her chances of reoccurance....but it doesn't make it a 100% guarantee that she will be cancer free.  But the problem with the AC is that it carries cardiac risks that TC does not have.  

Ultimately, my Mom is leaning towards stopping the chemo altogether.  She is too worried about her heart and doesn't want to continue suffering the side effects of a drugs that are not even guaranteed to work in the long run.  My Dad wants her to consider taking the AC, despite the risks.  Me...I don't really know where I stand.  

Have any of you ever had a similar experience?  What are your thoughts about this?  PLEASE HELP!
3 Responses
492898 tn?1222247198
It's always so difficult when one has to make choices like this, and you have my full empathy.

My first reaction when I read your post before was: "I would quit chemo!" but I wanted to give it some more thought.

It may really be of benefit to get a second opinion, even third.

Then, the TC really is different from the Adriamycin. I had all of them together.

The A makes your hair fall out, and it has the heart factor. My heard did OK with it and it was not all that perfect to begin with.
But your mother may still be able to tolerate it much better.

You may also want a second opinion about the onco type test as I have heard that they are not that reliable in the firs place and cannot be compared from one person to another. meaning, a certain number that is normal for me may not be normal for another, and it is the changes that are more of interest.

Just some thoughts, Katrin
739091 tn?1300669627
They can do a MUGA test on her to see if her heart is up to the adriamyacin. It's not that bad but she will lose her hair.

The long term benefits of chemo & radiation vs. radiation alone are huge. The ultimate decision is hers.

Best wishes :)
Avatar universal
Hi,
I just wanted to reiterate what Sue said above.  Before going ahead with the Adriamyacin, a test called a MUGA scan can be performed to determine if her heart could withstand the chemotherapy.  It is a non-invasive rather simple test.  I don't know your mother's age, but I had AC chemotherapy in 2004 at the age of 58.  It has been 5 years and I have had no lasting effects on my heart from the adriamyacin.
Good luck to your mom.
Regards,
Brenda
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