• All of my blood work is good but they still want me to take Chemo. I do not think this is my best option.

    Asked by Gram321 on Sunday, February 3, 2019

    All of my blood work is good but they still want me to take Chemo. I do not think this is my best option.

    I am currently taking an all natural chemo. No side effects. My dr. Also wants my to have a CT scan with contras, with side effects of kidney damage. This doesn’t make sense since I only have one kidney.

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar

      The danger with all natural and no side effects is that it may also have no actual effects. If the cancer progresses (and I believe it absolutely will using anecdotal or non-scientific methods) is that it can progress beyond the point of no return. If chemotherapy is then tried and fails, it is not a failure of the chemotherapy. Cancer is an extremely complicated, DNA-based malfunction. Natural substances that do not cause DNA alterations cannot undo DNA alterations, if you follow the reasoning.

      Cancer is no place for wishful thinking. My dad tried the natural route - spent thousands of his retirement money and promptly died. He is far from the only one. Steve Jobs? Steve McQueen? Both tried all natural treatments and both promptly died. Think about it.

      For perspective, in 2015, I had three cancers simultaneously: two aggressive T-Cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas at stage IV, and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (acute leukemia precursor) at 26% of my marrow. I have recently begun my 20th (yes, twenty) anti-cancer drug. Four or five of them I have received twice or more. Against a 99.5% chance of not making it, entering my eleventh year, I am still very much here and delighted to be anywhere.

      10 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar

      Since you only have one kidney, it's the only kidney that you can depend on - it's a critical part of your survival.

      I'm sure that your medical team had considered your options and are doing their best to treat your disease while carefully watching your kidney function.

      The other advice that I can offer is get a second opinion from a major cancer treatment center and see how they have treated renal cell carcinoma when the patient only has one kidney.

      I agree with po18guy - cancer is complex - there is not an all natural chemo - the word chemo means chemotherapy - a drug that damages the DNA of cancer cells - chemo and radiation or surgery are the only ways to kill cancer. Best wishes for wisdom in treating your cancer.

      10 months ago
    • PeggyRCC's Avatar

      It is difficult to help you assess the issues as to the side effects of the suggested treatment and how you and your doctor can manage it, as 'chemo' is a broad term. Most often kidney cancer patients do NOT use what is thought of as traditional chemo that we associate with baldness and the severe nausea etc. Those chemos will affect all your growing cells, but since cancer cells grow faster than normal cells, their action can kill the cancer cells, while your normal cell are also affected, you have millions more normal cells, the cancer is hit hardest.

      Your doctor may want to prescribe a 'targeted therapy', such as Sutent or Votrient, among others. They have somewhat similar actions, as they go after the blood vessels that are created by the tumors to grow, and those vessels are usually very susceptible to these targeted therapies. The side effects can vary, but are usually managed well, if you and your doctor work together.

      The second type of medication may be an 'immune' therapy, such as Opdivo (nivolumab). Its action is to cause the cancer to lose its ability to stop the normal immune reaction, which is to fight the cancer. The general side effects will resemble immune reactions, as makes sense, but everyone must be alert to an over-reaction which can happen in a very small percentage of patients.

      As to the CT scan and the need for contrast, you are right in that you must protect your single kidney. Everyone who gets these scans is careful to follow the instructions, which include being well-hydrated with regular water before the scan, and immediately after, start drinking more water to wash out the contrast. I have taken at least 25 CT scans since I was diagnosed with clear cell kidney cancer and 100s of tiny lung mets. My lung mets responded to an immune therapy which had to be given to me in the hospital, but my lungs are clear and I have had NO CANCER since then, now 14 years. I take the CTs so as to know if it has ever come back, and to catch it early.

      As to the good blood work, there is no blood test to find the return or growth of kidney cancer, but that does seem to indicate that you have no other serious problems, and thereby could manage the medications which your doctor thinks is appropriate. Take the time to get the details about the recommended medication and let this group help you understand more about it.

      10 months ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar

      I too have lost a kidney, half a lung and just had cryo ablation on my other kidney last week. My blood always looked good. I’ve been fighting this renal cell for 13 years, so far no chemo or radiation, just surgery. Make sure you have a list of questions for your doctors about all options available to you. I’m 64 now and hope to keep this kidney going for a long time. I hope you will get the best doctors and find the best treatments for your situation. It will be your decision to choose the course of treatment you are most comfortable with. Do some research to be as informed as you can. Keep updating here and get support and encouragement to keep on fighting. I’ll be thinking of you.

      10 months ago

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