• Liver cancer

    Asked by Rosie on Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Liver cancer

    Trying to figure out if I want to do chemo.

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Whatever you decide we wish you the best. If I was faced with a 4th diagnosis and my oncologist said that doing treatments would give me the best chance of survival, I would jump in a vat of chemo. If they tell me it would likely not make a difference, then I would enjoy life to it's fullest and try to wear my body out by living life. Each of us has to decide how we are going to go down. Our best to you.

      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Chances. It's all about chances. Between conventional chemotherapy, inhibitor class drugs and anti-folates, I am on my 20th drug as we speak. Facts are facts: After cancer arrives, we are going to be damaged goods. But, the cancer will do much more damage. So, you take your chances. My catch phrase is that I am delighted to be anywhere.

      about 1 month ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar
      Phoenix76

      There are many different "cocktails" for chemo, and your oncologist should be able to advise you on what would be the best protocol for your situation. We all respond differently, and have unique situations. If you experience uncomfortable side effects, they can adjust the mix of chemo to help alleviate that. Since you asked for advice, my advice is to go with it, even if it helps "marginally". As Genl. MacArthur said, Sometimes a war is won by an eyelash (by a split second or margin); something decisive. I'll take any margin I can get.

      While on chemo treatment (it took 6 hours), I had a lot of time to think. I thought a lot about the brave men and women who were the first to receive chemo, not knowing the outcome, but paving the way for us to have a better future.

      I agree with #po18guy - I'm glad to be here, anywhere. My new favorite word after treatment was "unremarkable". So, may all of your future scans and tests be "unremarkable."

      about 1 month ago
    • Rosie's Avatar
      Rosie

      To all those who responded I say thank you so very much. I respect your comments and advise as I try to make a emotional, mental and physical decision.

      about 1 month ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      @Rosie,
      Hello, I am an oncology nurse and you might be surprised to know that the typical first line treatment for hepatic carcinoma is not a chemotherapy, but a targeted therapy like Sutent or Nexavar. Many other options are mostly tyrosene kinase inhibitors like the drug mentioned above and mostly all are in pill form. Nivolumab (Opdivo) has also been approved, which is an immunotherapy. A general chemotherapy is really not used as a first line therapy for this type of cancer, and if it is, then it is most likely thru chemoembolization which is a chemo not infused thru an arm or port; but instilled in a catheter directly into the liver. It is a procedure, not a therapy, usually done in interventional radiology. One tip to note...the chemical or generic name of the drug will usually tell you the form it comes in. Sutent and Nexavar are sunitinib and sorafenib. Both end in "ib" which means they are internally binding to the nucleus of the cell so it is a small molecule drug, therefore usually a pill form. A drug like Avastin or an immunotherapy like Opdivo are bevacizumab and nivilomab respectively. They end in "mab" which is a monoclonal antibody and therefore a larger molecule that sits on the surface of a cell. It is a drug that is usually infused. I hope this helps you when making your decision. Best of luck to you.

      about 1 month ago
    • Rosie's Avatar
      Rosie

      To all of you who took the time to answer I thank you very much . At this point I am scared to death of the procedure. I am 78 and wonder if it’s worth it. I don’t want to spend my last days sick and in bed.

      about 1 month ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      @Rosie,
      For what it's worth, I have many patients your age or older and there are many nurses like myself who can yell you that older patients just do so much better with treatments than younger patients. I really think you will do better than you realize. Either way, that choice is yours to make and as a nurse, I will support whatever choice you make.

      about 1 month ago
    • Rosie's Avatar
      Rosie

      Thank you.

      about 1 month ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      Rosie - The lesson that Carm just gave us on the different drugs was excellent. I have been on Sutent since 2012 (for Renal Cell) and I never knew that it was referred to as targeted therapy. I think most of us learned something. She mentioned Nexavar also. It was between this or the Sutent for my treatment. My Oncologist chose Sutent for no particular reason as the two were very close to one another. If the Sutent appears to be working no longer, Immunotherapy in the form of Opdivo was mentioned to me by my Oncologist as the next step. Who knows, something else even greater might be available by the time I would need it. There are improvements daily regarding treatment. Granted, I was 62 when I was first diagnosed but I am now 75 and don't regret what has been deemed best for me. If a targeted therapy like mine is prescribed for you, don't be afraid of it. I was a little at the beginning, but not for long.. My side effects were fatigue, few sores in my mouth which are helped greatly by a compounded thick liquid med called "magic mouthwash". A "swish and spit" that helps to numb those areas. My real surprise was about 6 months after the start of the Sutent when I got up in the morning and went to brush my teeth. What had been brown with a few strands of grey hair the night before was now white - not grey - white! Over time it thinned a little but It never fell out like the effects of other treatments. If it had that would have been ok too. Like all treatments, our bodies are affected in some way, particularly with blood counts. Our immune system does become weakened to a certain extent, which varies widely between patients. In Church or a grocery store, for example, I've been wisely advised to wear a mask which is no big deal for me. I carry a decent sanitizer with me. If you are new at this, you have to be careful about doorknobs, grocery cart handles, someone else's phone, etc. You do have a big decision to make but whatever that is, please share with us. Keep in touch even if you decide not to seek treatment. We are here for you. And, CARM, thank you for the much overdue lesson!

      about 1 month ago
    • Rosie's Avatar
      Rosie

      Thank you so much for responding and the advice. I’ll keep in touch.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Hi, Rosie! I have no advice, just sending you best wishes, whatever you decide.

      about 1 month ago
    • Rosie's Avatar
      Rosie

      Thanks for the best wishes !

      about 1 month ago
    • Rosie's Avatar
      Rosie

      Leaning toward chemo but scared. Don’t want to spend days sick in bed.

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I had two different types of chemo with my first two diagnoses. The first one made me violently sick. The second dx a year later didn't bother me much at all. Now, this was 32 years ago before they realized that fluids and anti-nausea drugs were needed. Today, people take that same chemo without getting sick at all. Just tell your doctors everything that's happening and how you are feeling, they can adjust your meds as needed. All of us on the WhatNext Team wish you the best!

      about 1 month ago
    • Rosie's Avatar
      Rosie

      Thank you for the info. I appreciate it.

      about 1 month ago

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