• How do you make a decision between chemotherapy and BMT when there are conflicting recommendations between two different doctors?

    Asked by MelMom on Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    How do you make a decision between chemotherapy and BMT when there are conflicting recommendations between two different doctors?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Are they either/or recommendations, or might it be that both are appropriate and the difference is just in the sequence? In any case, I would schedule a discussion with both doctors to get their reasons for their recommendations. If you are then still unsure, seek a third opinion.

      over 4 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia in 2008 and had my BMT in March 2009. It is my understanding that a BMT is the CURE for Leukemia. In my case, and I believe this is true for most others....I had 5 days of chemotherapy (duped day -5, -4, etc.) and on day 0 I had my BMT (transfusion like any other). The reason for the chemo is to take your bad blood/marrow down to NOTHING....and then when they do the BMT, you are getting a brand new fresh start with new blood. It does take time for your old blood type to change over to the new blood type...and other side effects from GVHD (graft vs. host disease). But in the long run....a BMT is very successful. I am coming up on my 5 year mark this coming September....that is when I will be considered CURED!! :) If you are getting conflicting information, keep searching, asking questions, even a 2nd opinion may be necessary. And by all means get yourself to a hospital that is familiar with your disease. I was treated at the Univ. of Nebraska Med Center - a leukemia/lymphoma research facility and when I met my Team of doctors (that's also very important), they said they were "in it for the cure." Good luck to you!

      over 4 years ago
    • Camarillolaw's Avatar

      Our daughter was diagnosed with multistage leukemia (basically infant ALL with a chromosome transposition added) at 10 months of age. The one main difference is that while childhood ALL (Older than 1 yr of age) had a 5 yr survival rate of about 75%, infant ALL (under 1 yr of age) with the chromosome problem had a survival rate of about 10%, In the beginning we were offered both the chemo therapy option and the BMT therapy option with the doctors for each discipline having conflicting advice, each favoring their own discipline's therapy. We decided to try the chemo therapy option first since the BMT option was a last resort for her. In other words if chemo worked, great. If chemo did not, there still could be a chance for a BMT, although no assurances could be given that it would be an option at that time. Secondly, due to her age, the fact that BMT is harder on the system than chemo, and finding a suitable donor would be hard for her (due to age and being a minority) chemo was the first attempt. She achieved remission within the first month of the chemo and went thru the full therapy. At the start of the maintenance portion of the therapy it was again recommended that she undergo a BMT. By this time both the chemo doctor and BMT doctor agreed it was the appropriate course, She then had a BMT at 21 mts of age. What it came down to was which option offers the best ability to move forward in the event it fails, not only the one that offers the best outcome. Also, while it is said that a BMT cures leukemia, in our case we were told that in fact it does not, There really is no cure and I know of one case where relapse occurred 9 years after first diagnosis and BMT. My understanding is that the five year survival term is meant to mean percent of person who survived 5 years from date of diagnosis, not that the cancer is cured. What remission means is no evidence of cancer at the level of testing, not that the person is cancer free. My daughter is considered a 14 year survivor (from date of diagnosis). She is still seen by an oncologist as part of a longer term survivor clinic and dealing with the many issues the BMT and chemo caused (Heart, liver, kidneys, etc,) Talk to your doctorsa and ask all the questions that come to you. If time permits schedule two meeting with the doctors so that you can ask follow up questions you dont think of in the first meeting, it is overwhelming after all, I'm sorry the answer is so long and hope I have helped you. We will pray for you and your family.

      over 4 years ago
    • WVgirl2424's Avatar

      I am 22 months post stem cell transplant. My brother was my donor and so far no gvhd. I had chemo for 7 days (consolidation) and returned a little over a month later with my brother and husband. He received neurogenic injections daily while I received chemo. On July 4,2011 I did not need chemo and my numbers had bottomed out. On July 5,2011 my brother donated millions of cells and about 2 hours after I received his cells, it is done without an IV pump as he pump could damage the cells, the cells 18 million of them were fed into my IV through gravity, took about 40 minutes. A little less than 2 weeks later and we were informed that it was successful. I was informed to be careful, avoid others that could be I'll, better safe than sorry. I am currently looking forward to my 2 year birthday. I do have joint pain and dry mouth, and my hair is growing bu is totally different than original but, it's hair! Lol. I hope this helps. I received my wonderful care at West Virginia Niversity, Ruby Memorial Hospital!

      over 4 years ago

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