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1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo? 1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

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Unread 12-12-2007, 03:05 AM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

I have stage 1 ovarian cancer. I have been given the option of chemo every three weeks, or every week. It is the same drugs-carboplatinum and taxol--just a different cycle.

Every three weeks has the advantage of less trips to the physician, and you have a "normal" period of two weeks. The disadvantage is the severity of side effects including complete hair loss.

Every week means more time at the doctor's office, but no hair loss and less severity of side effects (but more continuous, ie no time off).

1. Do you know anything about these options?

2. Which would you choose?
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Unread 12-12-2007, 07:00 AM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

Dear Rubylove,

In my experience, that in-between time on the 3 week carbo/taxol cycle was NOT "time off." Granted, I was not as ill as in week one, but I always had a big dip in the white blood cells and generally got run down, with constant low-grade fevers and malaise. Plus the worry about catching something . . .

Lower dose once a week might be a good idea, but I didn't experience it so it's hard to say.
Unread 12-12-2007, 12:33 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

Hi Rubylove
I wish I could help. I would be tempted to try the once a week, just to get it over with faster! But that may mean six weeks of illness - I don't know. Mine is every three weeks, and I find that do-able. But I do wish it was over with!
I hope someone with more knowledge comes along. Please let us know what you decide!
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Unread 12-12-2007, 01:17 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

Hey Ruby,

I also did every 3 weeks so have no input about about the every week cycle.

I think before making that decision I would make an appointment with the gyn/onc, taking another set of ears with me, and have the pros and cons of both options layed out for me.

Losing your hair is the most traumatic side effect and if having a weekly regimen can help you avoid that, that's wonderful. However, the additional side effects of a weekly versus tri-weekly regimen just maty outweigh the hair loss. After all, hair does grow back.

Treatment week was not fun for me, the second week was my starting to feel human again week, and the third week was the one where I could almost forget I was going through chemo. Since the chemo is cumulative, I just don't know about all of those treatment weeks piled up back to back. This is definitely a tough decision.
Unread 12-12-2007, 03:33 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?


I have Stage II OvCa and get the carboplatin every two weeks. I love the idea of getting it every week just to get it over with, but from my personal experience I honestly don't know if I can handle it. I, personally, am experiencing fatigue like nothing I could have ever expected. My blood counts were erratic in the beginning but have leveled off... no doubt due to the Neulasta shot I receive every cycle.

You mentioned hair loss if you go every 3wks... but what about every week? You wouldn't lose your hair? That was a *huge* concern of mine, and honestly was one of the biggest reasons I went with single-agent treatment instead of combination (carbo-taxol) therapy. I was never given a choice on timing though... initially it was going to be every 3wks and then changed to every other week.

Let us know what you choose... I'm very interested
Unread 12-12-2007, 03:49 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

Just to clarify: I have to have 18 weeks of therapy either way. 6 treatments every 3 weeks OR 18 treatments weekly.

Thank you, everybody! You are wonderful!
Unread 12-12-2007, 03:57 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

This sounds like a new protocol for treatment as I had not heard of this option until you posted it.

How far do you live from your treatment center? If it is a ways, you may want to take that into consideration. On the other hand, if the side effects are not as harsh, the weekly may be the way to go.

Let us know what you decide to do and how it goes, if you do the weekly.

Unread 12-12-2007, 07:56 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

Originally Posted by rubylove
Just to clarify: I have to have 18 weeks of therapy either way. 6 treatments every 3 weeks OR 18 treatments weekly.
Ruby are you sure you understood that correctly? When they say 6 treatments every 3 weeks, they mean 6 treatments total -not 18. So if you chose weekly infusions you'd be done after 6 weeks and if you chose the three week option you'd be done in 18 weeks. Provided, of course, that your counts stay up and none of your treatments are postponed, then it would take longer than the propsed 18 weeks.
Unread 12-12-2007, 08:46 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

I read it to be 6 treatments 3 weeks apart or 6 x 3 = 18 weeks or weekly for 18 weeks.
Unread 12-12-2007, 10:21 PM
1 week vs. 3 week cycle of chemo?

Oh duh, you did say that if you followed a weekly regimine that the dosages would be smaller.

In that case, I would definitely choose every three weeks. I sure as heck wouldn't want to get stuck every week for 18 weeks!

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