• Chemo for anal cancer?

    Asked by mtnrose on Monday, December 3, 2018

    Chemo for anal cancer?

    Has anyone opted out of getting chemo/radiation for anal cancer?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      I am unaware of any that have survived. What sort of treatment are you considering, if any?

      10 months ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar
      mtnrose

      It has been suggested by my GI doctor upon diagnosis but after reading about the side effects and the weakened immune system from it, I'm not sure that's the route I want to take. I live alone and wouldn't have anyone there in case serious issues arose.

      10 months ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      @mtnrose,
      Hello Im an oncology nurse and I would strongly advise against going without chemoradiotherapy. Discuss your concerns with your doctor and perhaps the chemo could be given dose adjusted so that you won't have any issues. I have many patients who live alone while undergoing therapy... Some who work while in therapy and do well. I know the side effects seem scary but not all patients have them. Any chemo or radiation will lower your immune system but they can counteract that with neulasta or neupogen. Best of luck to you.

      10 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I don't suggest opting out of chemoradiation therapy for this type of cancer.

      I had the chemoradiation for my rectal cancer. The chemo is a pill that you take 5 days a week with breaks every weekend. They will give you a pill to counteract any nausea. I just took one every morning and that was all that I needed.

      I had some blood count/immune issues when I had infusion chemotherapy. But my blood counts stayed normal during chemoradiation. Best wishes.

      10 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      My thoughts on not taking treatments are pretty simple. The side effect of NOT taking treatments is much worse than the side effects of the treatments.

      10 months ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar
      mtnrose

      It just seems counterproductive to have poisons running through your veins along with the multiplying cancer cells...but, I'll talk to the oncologist to see what my options are. I've always been the one to experience many adverse reactions to drugs...so I'm feeling reluctant to ingest poison. I'm older and don't want to spend the remaining months or years too sick to care about living...and maybe have the chemo kill me anyways.

      10 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      After i watched my dad fight his lung cancer back in the 70s, i vowed to refuse chemo. I would accept radiation, but no chemo.

      When my oncologist told me my only option was chemo, i said, "let's get started." I was in fact very sick for a few days out of the first week of every cycle. But, it was just a few days (2-3) every 3 weeks.

      I would not be here if i had followed my yearslong resolution to avoid chemo. I am glad i didn't because i have had 6 good years since my lung cancer diagnosis.

      Good luck with your decision.

      10 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      You say your GI is "suggesting chemo/radiation. My suggestion that you make an appointment with an "oncologist" to discuss treatment and you may want a second opinion from a second "oncologist" There are many treatments for cancer and your GI may not be familiar with them. Not having treatment can also have serious complications. Look into solutions to living alone. In home nursing or a skilled nursing facility You say your GI is "suggesting chemo/radiation. I know Medicare pays for 21 day skilled nursing home and if your Dr. feels you need it more with a small co-pay. Some other insurances pay for these services as well.
      It is good that you have done your research. Take it with you and discuss it with the oncologist.

      10 months ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar
      mtnrose

      BoiseB, I am seeing a surgeon this Wednesday, December 5th. Don't think he's an oncologist. I guess I'll be told then whether I'll get a referral from him to an oncologist or whether I'll have to find one myself. I'm new at this and have been trying to find my way around/through this. Hopefully , I'll be assigned a nurse navigator on Wednesday that will help direct me. I feel lost and not sure what I should be doing or not doing.

      10 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      @mtnrose I don't know how I forgot this here is a link to a resource I found most useful when I had my second cancer. When I had my second cancer I also used their hotline I don't know if they still offer that service. It is worth a try. Here's the link
      https://www.livestrong.org/what-we-do/program/livestrong-guidebook
      I will be praying for you tomorrow

      10 months ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      While much chemotherapy remains the same, much has changed and is now non-chemo. It is targeted biological drugs. Less side effects. Virtually no long-term effects. You want the latest and greatest?

      Clinical trials! I have been in four of them. Zero long-term effects. As I have stated, someone beats each and every cancer.

      BE that someone.

      10 months ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar
      mtnrose

      Thank you, BoiseB. I'm very nervous....

      10 months ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar
      mtnrose

      po18guy, I hope this treatment is offered and my insurance will pay for it. I'd be willing to try this rather than chemo/radiation .

      10 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Here is an article we posted on our Blog Page about the decisions of having treatments of different types or opting out.

      https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/are-you-sure-you-want-to-take-your-chances-without-treatment

      10 months ago
    • mtnraindancer's Avatar
      mtnraindancer

      Wow..I feel your pain. I was on this board almost three years ago searching for answers and comfort as I was the caregiver for my husband at that time. We were both "naturalist" at heart but when he got diagnosed, he opted to fight with everything and do the chemo. He had a DPD deficiency which wasn't discovered until after 8 treatments. His system was so compromised by then that he couldn't recover. Fast forward and I find myself with the exact same diagnosis he had. I was so against chemo. One thing I have read that sticks in my mind is CHEMO ISN"T "NATURAL" BUT NEITHER IS CANCER. So many oncologists will not discuss natural remedies combined with chemo. I opted to do the chemo but I am also responsible for my own care and my best advocated in all of this. I requested a DPD deficiency test upfront. The chemo nurses had never heard of it which I found unbelievable. I had much time to read and research while my husband was going thru his battle. I am using my own common sense and throwing my natural remedies in with the chemo as well as exercise, faith and prayer. Stacking the deck will never hurt. My best advice would be to do your research and be your own advocate. Doctors are not GODS and while they have years of education and experience, they are human. They make mistakes...they have family responsibilities...they get tired and opt not to ready every little detail that could be the BIG detail. Wishing you peace down this road as you make your own decisions.

      10 months ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar
      mtnrose

      mtnraindancer, I agree that we each need to be our own advocates and be responsible for our own care. I always research everything a doctor recommends whether it be medications or treatment just so I know what the possible side effects might be or risks involving a procedure.
      I found out yesterday during my first consult with the colo-rectal surgeon that I will have to do chemo-radiation first. Then, if that's not successful in removing the tumor and all cancer cells in that area, I will be having surgery which will leave me with a colostomy.

      10 months ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar
      mtnrose

      Not feeling very confident that I'll be able to avoid having surgery either.

      10 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      @mtnrose know that you will remain in my prayers everynight. Also remember you can always get a second opinion most insurances pay for a second opinion. My first Dr. was routining me to hospice. I got a second opinion and I am still here fighting cancer 8 years later. I am signing off WhatNext for the next 2 weeks while I move to Olympia WA but I will be praying for you.

      10 months ago

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