• Is it normal to possibly be on chemo pills for years?

    Asked by MelMom on Friday, April 5, 2013

    Is it normal to possibly be on chemo pills for years?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear MelMom,

      Hi. I'm Aliza, a Breast Cancer patient and Medical Librarian who offers services on this site and elsewhere in the form of advice (usually non medical [Librarians have a code of ethics about not providing direct responses to medical questions [this can be construed as practicing medicine without a license and is generally regarded as bad form as well as being illegal]), so you might ask what I can do and that's quite a lot actually. I offer referrals to doctors, hospitals/insitutions, agencies, etc., and research when required/requested.

      (I think many of us would wonder (maybe those of us who are not medical professionals (that includes me [Medical Librarians, though we may train physicians how to search, are not considered medical professionals]) what "chemo pills" are - are they "chemotherapy" or some kind of adjuvant therapy such as we Breast Cancer patients take for 5 or more years often following chemotherapy?

      I can, certainly with my research skills, go on and research what you've asked, but I don't know what type of leukemia you have (my late father and uncle had CLL). I don't know your gender (don't know if this can factor in, nor your age). I'm also wondering if you have side effects from taking the pills that bother you? So there are a variety of variables that need to be considered in researching the answer to such a question in order to get an answer that is completely valid for you.. I'm happy to do the research for you, but I'll need that additional information. Feel free to email me offsite via email if you'd prefer to keep these things private. I'd understand completely!

      Btw, I don't know if there is a "normal" in this highly subjective world of cancer. I think it depends seriously on where you're treated, and upon whom your oncologist is and what she/he thinks is in your best interests. There's not necessarily a cookie cutter approach for everyone!

      Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best possible outcome. Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

      Warm wishes,

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Yes. I was on oral chemotherapy for 3 years to treat advanced kidney cancer. I switched to i infusion therapy when a TNBC lesion was found on my liver. Now I am back on pills

      over 3 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      It is becoming normal. Focus on the "years" part of your question. Many of us did not used to live that long. I have been on IV infusions of a novel therapy for four years, and am now in the long-term study of the drug. It is essentially viewed as a maintenance drug against a cancer (T-Cell Lymphoma) for which there is still no standard therapy. That is how fast research is progressing. Experimental territory, but an awful lot of experiments are working.

      over 3 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar

      I am an AML Leukemia survivor of 4 1/2 years. Through my diagnosis a "marker" or defect on my DNA was discovered that allowed the Leukemia to get in. Since they found that scenario, I have been on a clinical trial of what is essentially a chemo pill. It was approved for liver & kidney transplant patients by the FDA and now they are working on it for bone marrow transplant cases as well. I've been told I will need to be on this med for the rest of my life. The medication is called Nexavar and so far it was worked well for me. Initially I was on a 200mg dose 4x per day...we've tapered this down to 1 dose a day but I was scared and asked about taking 2 per day. I'm not happy at all about being on chemo for the rest of my life....so asking next visit about going back to 1 dose per day. I've done alot of research since my bout with cancer and recent knee replacement (which btw was bone degeneration directly resulting from the anti-rejection medications I was on after my BMT) and don't know if I am brave enough to go off the med and replace it with a totally organic, plant based diet. Good luck to you....Blessings, Lisa

      over 3 years ago
    • sweethart2912's Avatar

      I have been on the chemo pill, Gleevec, for 13 years and according to my oncologist I will be on it the rest of my life.

      over 3 years ago

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