A fighting chance !

today was a better day -we have seen the oncologist and she told us that on the ct scan it is localised spread only with nothing showing up anywhere else - that being the case she is basically going to throw everything she can at it - radiotherapy and chemo - she said there was not a lot of cells in the biopsies - they are also going to do the HER-2 test to see if he can take herceptin. But - always a but - she wants him to have a PET first as CTs don't always pick up everything - so everything is crossed that will be ok too - if it does show something the plan will change although there will still be a plan - but obviously there would be much less chance of it going into remission and she was cautiously optimistic - for an oncologist ! That we could have some successif it is as the ct suggests. So we take up arms again and into battle once more. Has anyone had experience of RT and chemo together ? I know they do it in America a lot but seems to be one or the other here ?

Best to you all


7 Replies

  • Hi, Lyn I Had radical chemo and radiotherapy last year I found it very hard, but everyone is different but the main thing is you get through it and I'm still here that's the main thing. Chris

  • Thank you Chrus - was that fir a recurrence ?


  • Chemo and radiotherapy together can cure oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and I know of one case where it has been successful when the patient had a second diagnosis some years later after surgery ( a new, second diagnosis of oesophageal cancer rather than a recurrence).

  • They couldn't say wether it was a new diagnosis or recurrence. In 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer I had chemo and radiotherapy and I keep wondering if it was the radiotherapy that caused it this time.

  • Everything crossed here too! x

  • Hi Lynn,

    This such an individual and personal decision so there's no easy answer. My husband had both rt and chemo. (Lung cancer) He was also able to access a very new chemo drug. It bought us more time but there was a price to pay. I can only say that because of our experiences I opted for rt only as I am very underweight, now live alone and put quality of life before quantity. Nether I or my Oncologist felt I could cope with chemo. My rt has helped on one area but not both and I have side affects from the rt including breathlessness and extreme fatigue still. I would suggest, research as much as possible before making a decision, not underestimating the possible side affects, assessing how fit the patient is before treatment and then trying to balance the pros and cons of what and if treatment. I only wish they had a crystal ball and could predict more on how each person will respond! Good luck with everything.

    Charlie x

  • Dear Lyn, I attended an education day recently as a patient representative. One of the presentations was on chemoradiation. As you say, in the past, this has been more common in the USA than here. However, some new research carried out in the Netherlands suggests that chemoradiation followed by surgery produces better outcomes (ie. higher survival rates) than chemotherapy alone plus surgery. It is therefore likely that this will become a more common treatment in the UK. However, as Charlie says, chemoradiation can be very debilitating, but I doubt that your oncologist would have recommended it if she didn't think your husbabd was fit enough to tolerate it. If you are concerned, speak to her. Good luck, G.

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