Is "preventive chemo" a good idea?

I'm a 69 year old Asian male, diagnosed with Stage 0-1 bladder cancer last July 2016. I had a non-invasive tumor removed last August 1 and took six weekly chemo (mitocytin) sessions. I have since then been taking supplements per advise of a wellness doctor, mostly for "detox" and to strengthen my immune system and correct nutrient deficiencies. Post-chemo tests have indicated a positive prognosis and I am actually feeling healthier than when I started, probably due to the supplements and a diet change (mostly vegetarian, low-carb, organic and gluten free). My urologist now recommends another six chemo sessions as a "preventive measure". I want to wait for the results of my next cystoscopic examination end of November before deciding. You've probably asked (or heard) the same question at one time or another: "If there's no tumor, why put poison in your body?" Does anyone have any thoughts on "preventive chemo"? Thank you and wishing everyone well.

7 Replies

  • Hi

    Sounds like you've been able to manage your BC well, good to hear you're feeling fitter even than when you started! Go veggie food (I've been veggie most of my life but since diagnosis have cut down on dairy and increased fruit and vegetable intake significantly and also feel better than before).

    I've also got non invasive BC but grade 2 and have had mitomycin for 8 weekly doses. My last two cystoscopies were clear and I'm about to have a multi point biopsy. I've been recommended monthly mitomycin doses afterwards for a couple of years (gulp). For me the mitomycin seems to have worked ( I had to have 4 TURBT's this year) and I think my nutrition supports the effect.

    I'd say another 6 sessions for you if it keeps the BC away would be worth it, it is rather prone to return apparently. Although mitomycin is poison it goes exactly where we need it and doesn't go into the bloodstream. Having said that it does totally knock me out, it's certainly no picnic.

    Good luck and best wishes I hope it goes well for you. Keep us posted.

  • citizenlito i guess it is better to be safe than sorry. I have been going through maintenance BCG and it makes me feel terrible but research suggests it is the best way to stop the tumour returning. I say keep up the chemo and have no regrets! Good luck.

  • I also have BC it's back now for the 3rd time. Just finished 6 more weeks of bcg. Right, no picnic. So what's the point. Isn't it about " quality of life". That is a medical term. What's the pont. Let's here a success story. How many times does it keep coming back? Just a bit fed up I guess. Good luck!

  • How did you decide? Any news?

  • Well guys, the "verdict" is in. I just had my cystoscopy (three months after my first TURBT). My deal with the urologist was if there was new growth, he would remove it and get a biopsy done. Then we would do another round of chemo with Mitomycin-C. Sadly, but as expected, there was the beginnings of a new tumor (very small, malignant but difficult to grade per biopsy report). That was removed and we took my "prophylactic" chemo yesterday. It was surprisingly less unpleasant than the first six times. I am feeling A-OK and am in fact looking forward to a vacation in the US over the holidays. My next round of six weekly chemo sessions will resume January next year. Can't get around it, I guess. The up side is that early detection makes things more manageable. On the other hand, my diet (vegies, fruits, "superfoods" and limited animal protein) and intake of supplements (vitamins and minerals plus turmeric and wheat grass) are helping me keep an active schedule with no fatigue or lethargy.

    As a side note, and a warning for those who take Prozelax for enlarged prostate: I had a mild "crisis" the night after my cystoscopy after I resumed my 1x/day dose of Prozelax. My BP AND Pulse rate nosedived, I had cold sweat, felt very faint and had uncontrollable chills. This lasted for about an hour or more. By the time the doctor came, things were beginning to normalize. The suspected culprits were possible allergy to the IV'd antibiotic and hypo-something arising from a combination of anesthesia and fatigue. Turns out Prozelax (and other so-called beta-blockers) can cause sudden episodes like this. Doctors advise lying down after taking the same. On the bright side, the Prozelax maintenance is apparently working well for me. I have "strong steady flow" when I pee.

    That's all for now. Stay strong and well, friends, and keep the faith!

  • I was sorry to hear that they found new growth, but as you say when they catch it early it's easier to deal with. Very positive that the chemo round was more manageable this time and that bodes well for January too. So good that you are feeling strong and looking forward to an upcoming trip. The nutrient rich veggie diet is probably helping more than just your energy levels. As you 'just' had the one TURBT any chance that the tumor found is left over from the first rather than new growth?

    Have you read 'Foods to fight cancer' by Beliveau and Gingas? It's very practical and readable.

    Best of luck in your healing

  • Hi. The new growth was on a different spot. And thanks for the tip on cancer-fighting foods. I'm attacking this on three fronts: traditional medicine, positive thinking and diet + supplements. So eating the "right" foods/eating healthy will certainly help. Thanks again and hope you're well, too. Happy holidays!

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