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Prognosis/expectations

Hi, I am new to this forum so am reaching out for different supports.  My mother was dx'd in May 08 w/stage 3c ovarian cancer.  W/O tx she was told she would live approx 6 months.  She had a full hysterectomy.  The cancers was not in the lymph nodes but in the omentum which was removed, on liver, rectum/colon, both ovaries and appendix which all were removed.  The surgeon scraped off the colon and did not need to remove anything there.  SHe underwent IV chemo (6 rounds) w/toxil and carboplatin (might be misspelled) and they found her CA-125 numbers shooting up so they began IP and IV using Toxil and Cisplatin.  However she could not complete it b/c of the complications it caused.  They did the CT scan and found the cancer has spread to her thoracic cavity and is producing the "cancer water" that is pushing against her lung.  Two nodules were also found but it is unclear if they are the same two they saw the last CT or different.  They stopped Chemo for one month and now restarted it on the 8th of Jan.  She will be on Doxil once every 4 weeks IV.  This drug is not supposed to make her as sick.  If this doesn't work they want to try and 4th drug and if that doesn't work they will begin to do experimental drugs.  I am trying to remain positive but it seems hard to maintain that and she is very discouraged.  I have read the prognosis stats and find them frightening as well as confusing.  I know everyone is different but is there a prognosis for this type of cancer and stage that has undergone these tx's?  I just want to know what to expect and can't find any sites that clearly answer this.  Any information that you have would be appreciated.  And are there alternative tx's?  THank you, Wendy
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242604 tn?1328121225
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Dear Wendy
thank you so much for your information. You give such a clear picture of what your mother is going through.

Your mother has received state of the art treatment. I agree with all the interventions that have been suggested.

Doxil is a very good choice.
One caveat is that it takes 3 to 4 treatments before you start to see a good response. In the meantime, she may develop fluid again. So it is important not to give up on that drug too soon but it may be necessary to add other interventions such as draining fluid in the lungs or abdomen and even sometimes direct instillation of chemo into the abdomen.

It is a very frightening situation. Hopefully with good support, her condition will stabilize. I  can see that you understand that she has a cancer that will not go away. Our goals become trying to stabilize the progression of the cancer and doing interventions that do not make her quality of life worse
best wishes
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Avatar universal
Thank you Dr. Goodman for your reply.  I will mention the caveat you mentioned about taking 4 tx's before results are seen.  They are doing a CT scan after her 3rd tx.  She was diagnosed May 2009 and had one round of Chemo (6 treatments) then they moved to the IP (directly into the abdomen) however she was not able to tolerate it, it amlost put her in the hospital and caused such weakness,her body basically couldn't take it so I doubt they will do that again.  Thank you for your frankness in what to expect, that the cancer will not go away.  So far she is on day 6 of the Doxil and no ill effects.  So her quality of life on this treatment is much better then the previous so that is hopeful.  She and I both want to explore alternative tx's such as herbal and accupuncture, do you have any advice on this subject?

Wendy
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Avatar universal
Just to clear up a typo or two, Taxol or Taxil (not sure how to spell it was the first chemo drug) and she had her ovaries, omentum and uterus and appendix removed, not her liver or colon...
Helpful - 0
242604 tn?1328121225
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi Wendy,

Many cancer centers do have a practicing acupuncturist who can consult.If not, you can go to the NCAM website of the NCI to see what studies there have been.

http://nccam.nih.gov/

I usually think calling an acupuncture school in your area is the best way to get referrals for treatment. Schools will have the most update to and legitimate practitioners. I did a search but did not see that in Virginia.
Here is a link to what I found

http://www.naturalhealers.com/results.shtml?special=.&location=Virginia&featuredOnly=Y


In Boston,we have the oldest acupuncture school in the US  New England School of Acupuncture  

http://www.nesa.edu/

I call them all the time for references
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