• Adjuvant chemo therapy does it work?

    Asked by sarahgrossman on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Adjuvant chemo therapy does it work?

    My dad did chemo/radiation therapy before having surgery for esophegeal cancer. The doctors want him to do 1-2 more rounds of chemo but are holding off starting it due to his health. Has anyone done the adjuvant therapy or know more information about the risks/benefits from doing it?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Adjuvant therapy is any treatment in addition to the primary, main, or initial treatment and can be given before, after or concurrent with the primary treatment. So for a given patient, chemo, radiation, or surgery, or other targeted therapies can be either primary or adjuvant.

      Neoadjuvant treatments are given before the primary treatment for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of the primary treatment. In the case of cancer that usually means shrinking a tumor or preventing or limiting spread to other organs with chemotherapy. Those are the benefits. The risks are the side effects, which can be short term, long term, temporary, or permanent and depends on a whole range of variables such as the patients general health, type, stage, and aggressiveness of cancer, age, and many other lifestyle. You need to talk to your Dad's oncologist about the risks vs. benefits of additional chemotherapy prior to surgery, since each case is different.

      almost 5 years ago
    • sarahgrossman's Avatar
      sarahgrossman

      Thanks for the info, but I was kind of asking more of people who have had chemo done after surgery and whether they feel it helped or didn't...we have already talked to his oncologist about it but I just wanted some responses from people who have had it done or have decided not to do it.

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      The answer is still the same whether it is before or after. It depends on the individual and whether the surgery is sufficient to remove all cancer cells. Chemo kills cancer cells when they are present whether it is before or after surgery. If there are any cancer cells left, they will continue to divide and multiple if not treated with chemo, radiation, or additional surgery and each of those treatments have there own benefits and risk that vary by individual regardless of the order they are done in.

      almost 5 years ago

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