Together we will beat cancer


How many cycles?

28 Jan 2023 21:25

My husband who was diagnosed with stage 4 oesophageal cancer is due to start his 5th cycle of 6 cycles of chemo on Monday.  Due to issues this is only going to be the 3rd cycle where there have been a long break in between.  So after this cycle he will have a full body scan to see where he's at.  This was only ever offered as palliative chemo.

if signs are good after the full body scan they will offer 2 more cycles, then from what we understand that is it, no more is offered for a time.  Sadly during one of the breaks on chemo between cycle 2 and 3 because of the tumour bleeding and 5 sessions of radiotherapy being given, the cancer trebled in his liver and lymph nodes.

as you can appreciate my husband is scared, he doesn't understand why he can't have more cycles.  How many cycles can you have?

How many cycles?

29 Jan 2023 10:37 in response to Karcoo

It's an individual thing. My wife [breast cancer] really struggled on the last EC chemo and all the docetaxel cycles, and often went longer than the 3 weeks between. 1st time she caught covid and had to wait 4 weeks, and she ended up in hospital with high temps, with one being shingles, after each doc cycle. It was killing her. As the oncologist said, chemo is there to make her better, not to kill her or hasten her demise, and if the risks start to out weigh the benefits, they would stop immediately. There was a 5 week wait between her penultimate chemo and her last one. It was also beginning to damage her liver. Had she been penned in for one more docetaxel, like a lot of women are, she wouldn't have received it as she was at the end of her tolerance for it. A 4th one would have killed her in all probability. Yet some people are fine on it and tolerate it well.

Only you and the treating doctors know if the chemo is causing some of the immediate health issues your husband is enduring. They also cease chemo if it's judged not to be having the desired effect on the cancer.

How many cycles?

30 Jan 2023 05:15 in response to ProfBaw

Interesting post - my wife is on the second cycle of a bile duct treatment and after each treatment after a few days we have a temperature spike with a visit back to the hospital. It was worrying when it happened the first time but reading several posts on this site it seems to be fairly common ?