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Why chemotherapy if no sign of cancer ? Please, please help me with this.

(16 Posts)
dashboardconfessionals Sat 23-Aug-08 12:17:45

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misi Sat 23-Aug-08 12:27:30

as they say, it is precautionary. cancer cells have a habit of floating round and lodging in other places. as the cancer cells were within the cyst, it is likely none got out but they are being safe rather than sorry. herbalists like me cannot treat cancer by law except with co-operation with the doctor (and very few docs ever consider this) but a good herbalist can minimise the side effects. NIMH.org.uk for your nearest qualified herbalist if you feel this is something you would like to look at.

tribpot Sat 23-Aug-08 12:28:42

I'm sorry to hear about your mum's illness. My step-father is having chemo at the moment and is doing quite well.

I'm sure someone will come along with an answer but have you looked at the Cancer Backup website? You can call a nurse.

megcleary Sat 23-Aug-08 12:39:10

its like insurance to give the best chance of it never coming back do tell the oncologist if she takes complementary therapys as most chemo made from plants and there may be an interaction

FlightAttendent Sat 23-Aug-08 12:43:04

Hello - my friend had chemo after having an ovarian cyst removed. I don't know exactly what they found but she is now fine, I guess it may have been a similar thing.

There is a great website which describes ovarian cancer in all its forms - sometimes it is found within a cyst which minimises its chance of having spread, but I think your mum would be sensible to accept the treatment as it would probably knock out anything that may have escaped during surgery.

They are just doing their best to look after her.

I hope the treatment is not too grueeling for her. xx

FlightAttendent Sat 23-Aug-08 12:43:50

Ovacome I think is the one. Also Cancer bacup as Trib suggested.

dashboardconfessionals Sat 23-Aug-08 12:44:37

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FlightAttendent Sat 23-Aug-08 12:46:56

Try not to panic, I know it is very hard to understand what they are on about and you just want clear answers.

If you ring one of the helplines on those websites, they are often quite happy to talk to family members and friends, indeed anyone affected - of course you will be worried sick as she is your Mum, and the people there are experts so will be better able to explain than we are.

I am just going to have a quick google for you, back in a minute.

tiggerlovestobounce Sat 23-Aug-08 12:52:02

The stats about survival mean that if they say 95% will live 5 years, that means that 5 years on 95% will still be alive. Some of those might go on live another 20,30,40 years.

FlightAttendent Sat 23-Aug-08 12:54:07

Sorry I can't find the page I was loking at a few months ago, but I seem to remember that cancer cells found within a cyst is a very low level cancer - very early staging, as they call it.

So it would be a borderline or a stage 1a I think. This has a very high success rate in terms of recovery.

I'm sorry I'm not more qualified to advise but I wouldn't be too concerned about the caution they are exercising.

misi Sat 23-Aug-08 12:55:27

5 years is an arbitary figure, it is an average. as she has no signs of it now then this figure pales into insignificance. percentage chances and average life expectancy should not be used in medicine as everyone is different and individual, the figures give hope to some and worry to others. your mum is young, has no signs of cancer now, will be on chemo as a precaution and if you think of it, it says 95% will live over 5 years. 5 years is about as long as they monitor people for then loose track of so read over 5 years, read many years more. (as an example, my mate had a cancerous lump removed from a sensitive area when he was 14, he is now 42 and has 2 kids and he has check ups every 3 years now and everything is clear and normal)

dashboardconfessionals Sat 23-Aug-08 12:59:00

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dashboardconfessionals Sat 23-Aug-08 13:00:33

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tiggerlovestobounce Sat 23-Aug-08 13:06:37

Yes, you are (happily) incorrect. At 5 years 95% will be alive. It says nothing at all about what happens after 5 years.

ChairmanMiao Sat 23-Aug-08 13:12:13

Has anyone mentioned the term 'adjuvant chemotherapy'?

It sounds like what your mum is having - it's basically given where there is the tiniest risk of the cancer spreading, post surgery. THink of it as a belt and braces approach - if there are any cells sneaking about the chemo should obliterate them. I think she'll have a series of scans for the next few years, just to be sure. They'll keep a close eye.

tribpot Sat 23-Aug-08 15:47:55

dashboard - I know what you mean. My step-dad is very matter-of-fact and has said that the most upsetting thing for him is how upset we all are (like if we were all: 'oh you have cancer - whatever' he'd think that was better!)

Reading up on cancer stats online can be dangerous, as you've seen the 5 year survival rate doesn't mean there's no survival rate beyond that. I think you'd be better off talking to a professional than worrying yourself by googling. I'm fortunate to have lots of clinician friends to talk it over with.

The first shock is just awful; my step-dad was diagnosed in February and it's only really now that chemo seems like business as usual. We still don't know what the longer-term prognosis is because they weren't able to remove the tumour

But the news for your mum basically looks good, I hope she copes with the chemo okay.

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