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6 treatments vs. 8? 6 treatments vs. 8?

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Unread 07-28-2004, 05:37 PM
6 treatments vs. 8?

I am doing an archive search looking for info about relapses....(was wondering how many ovca patients really do relapse) and this older post of Karenann's came up, prompting me to ask, "HOW DO THEY Decide if you need two extra treatments after your original 6?" My doc said basically the same thing, "you'll get six, then we'll see if you need 2 more". I'm guessing they'll look at my CA-125 trends?

How do they decide that you no longer need chemo? I've had two carbo/paxtel treatments, and My early CA-125's are awesome, and show a great promise that the cancer is reacting to the chemo...and I'm loving that, and very positive about THIS stage of the game...but worried too..will they stay that way? ohh..I am NOT going to like that hanging over my shoulder!
Thanks, and God Bless

Originally posted by karenann
Before I started the chemo my doc said I would receive six to eight rounds of
taxol/carbo. I am only now starting to wonder what he will use to determine the
six versus eight. I will definitely find out what the criteria is at my next visit.
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Unread 07-28-2004, 05:53 PM
6 treatments vs. 8?

s K9

About the six vs. eight chemo treatments,
For me it was dependent upon:
1. was my debulking considered optimal or suboptimal
2. my ca 125
3. CT scan results after treatment number six

I remember really wanting two extra treatments at this time.
But my doctor explained that they felt they would be giving me poison when in fact there were no cancer cells at the time to attack.
Some centers will do up to a year of what is called consolidation therapy. Women receive taxol, every three weeks or monthly, at a lower dose. This treatment remains controversial. In my area Fox Chase and Univ Of Penn do not offer this.

May you continue to do well!!!

Unread 07-28-2004, 07:27 PM
6 treatments vs. 8?

My doctors very much wanted to do 8 treatments, but they also started out by saying, "Well, we'll do 6 and then see if we can do 8." They couldn't tell me if they'd do 8 or not.

Ultimately, my white count was just obliterated by chemo, and I barely made it through 6 treatments. It was agreed that two more treatments would probably kill me, since my white count got down to zero and I had to be hospitalized and have Neupogen shots daily for about two months.

Karenann has good advice.

My two cents (just my humble opinion):

More chemo is good. If you are already bald, and your white count is holding, and you feel like you can make it through, and your doctors are game for it, then do the 8. I would've done them if I had been able.

I also did 11 months of low-dose weekly Taxol. As Karenann mentioned, this is not a proven treatment and many hospitals do not offer it.

I think I was a good candidate for it because I am young, I live near the hospital, I am strong and otherwise healthy, and I work for myself so I could make the time every Monday (two hours for treatment and another four hours where you feel like you are in a coma due to the Benadryl they give you to combat allergic reactions). I also think my doctor wanted to do a bit of his own testing to see if this extra treatment makes any sort of difference. I am the only person at my hospital who did this treatment. I brought it up and requested it. Luckily, my doctor said he would sponsor me for it.

My CA125 was 17 after surgery, 8 after my first chemo and "less than 6.3" after my second chemo. It has held at that number. So I don't know that a low or normal CA125 really matters in terms of whether or not consolidation treatment is offered. I think it's just unproven, so it depends on a hospital's policy.

Again, I would've gone for the 8 if my body could have taken it. If you get through 6 and your body has taken too much of a beating, your doctors will let you know.

It is important to realize that you also play a role in trying to prevent recurrence. My doctor has started telling his patients to "break a sweat three times per week via exercise," as he's seen that it's had a positive effect on people's ability to stave off recurrence. I am thus actively exercising. Diet and supplements have also shown some promise. I think it's important to fight for your life from all angles, and to not just leave your health in the hands of doctors.

Good luck! :-)
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Unread 07-28-2004, 08:54 PM
6 treatments vs. 8?

thanks to you both for your valuable input. It's too soon to tell what will happen with me at the end of 6 treatments, but I'm ever curious about the "ifs", something I am *TRYING* to not do anymore, but I dont think there's anything wrong with being as informed as possible!

I consider it ammunition for my body's battle.

Thanks again!
Unread 07-28-2004, 10:43 PM
normal count

this is what i heard from my nurse when i had blood test this week. she was talking to the unfortunate new recruits to cancer.

* no one gets their CA - 125 count to 0
* normal CA 125 count for a normal person is 35
any higher and there is a possiblilty that there is cancer somewhere in their body
Unread 07-29-2004, 12:19 AM
6 treatments vs. 8?


What was your CA125 going into surgery?
Unread 07-29-2004, 05:55 AM
6 treatments vs. 8?


I don't know. I've asked, and , Believe it or not, I dont' think they did one prior to surgery

I'm going to have to ask them again when I go tomorrow for a blood draw.
Unread 07-29-2004, 10:10 AM

Hi K9,
I had six of the full-dose platinum and taxol chemos, and in May, I competed the twelve doses of taxol alone for maintainance. I did have to fight to get them and to change medical groups. It is definately important to be treated by a gynecologic oncologist, and I think that more of them now see the additional treatments as standard care(that is what my new onc told me), although some still think that they are experimental. If you and your doctor feel that you are healthy enough to get extra treatments, they have been shown through studies to increase length of remission. I also agree with SirenSong that exercise and diet is important, and I also found that using relaxation tapes and positive visualization are useful.


Twisted Sister
Unread 07-31-2004, 04:40 PM
6 treatments vs. 8?

I agree on the positive thinking tapes and visualization. You should see what I bring to chemo with me....this cd and that tape and this book....all of them related to positive thinking and visualization. I have a cd on strengthening your immunity thru positive thinking....hm...I think it's time to listen to THAT one tonight!

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