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Author chemotherapy?
SetH
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Registered: 15th Jul 01
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7th Nov 07 at 20:21   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Before i go googling reems of information i just wondered if anyone was clued up on chemotherapy and what it involves.

one of the learning disabilities adults my mum cares for has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that has spread to the stomach.

She is starting chemo treatment in 2 weeks but the nurse told my mum today it wont make her better.

Am i missing something here? why would they give chemo if there is no hope of it working, isnt this just causing unecessary suffering? I dont know much about chemo just the fact that its unpleasant.
Cosmo
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7th Nov 07 at 20:25   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Normally down to the patient if they want to take the risk of being ill for the final days of their life with a small hope of curing it, or have a (kinda) happy last days and not be in the pain of trying to find a cure.

I dont have first hand experience, or even second hand, but know a friend of my Sisters was diagnosed and not given much chance of it working, but went ahead anyway and it did.
BlueCorsa
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7th Nov 07 at 20:25   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Usually where there is metastases (cancer that has spread), the prognosis isn't good (i.e. survival is rare). The chemo might just be to prolong life as long as possible by keeping the tumours under control.
CorsAsh
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7th Nov 07 at 20:27   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

It can prevent the spread and secondaries I think, something along those lines anyway. My nan and her husband had/is having chemo, I think it's a case of giving them as long as possible.
SetH
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7th Nov 07 at 20:30   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Ok thanks for that guys.

Have to question the ethics on that one when its someone with learning disabilities. I dont know if my mum will have to make the decision for her, harsh
BlueCorsa
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7th Nov 07 at 20:36   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Nobody can give consent on behalf of another adult (regardless of their mental state) IIRC, unless they have power of attorney (or that new thing that is equivalent to it, can't remember what it's called). Basically in that case, the doctor decides in the best interests of the patient.

Everyone will have a different opinion, I know from seeing people in various states of disease/infection that if I were in that state then I wouldn't want to be pumped full of antibiotics or chemo just to delay the inevitible by a few days/weeks/months.

I would have to guess that a doctor acting in the interests of the patient would only go ahead if they were confident that they could achieve several months/significant relief from further disease or complications.

[Edited on 07-11-2007 by BlueCorsa]
Robin
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7th Nov 07 at 20:38   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

They do it to keep people alive for longer, which I agree is cruel.

When my dad was told there was no hope of recovery, they put him on chemo anyway, then he told them that he didn't want it after the first course as it made him feel worse and suffer more.

Dragging it out makes it worse for everyone anyway, so it's a bit of a backwards way of doing things
Brett
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7th Nov 07 at 20:49   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo
Normally down to the patient if they want to take the risk of being ill for the final days of their life with a small hope of curing it, or have a (kinda) happy last days and not be in the pain of trying to find a cure.

I dont have first hand experience, or even second hand, but know a friend of my Sisters was diagnosed and not given much chance of it working, but went ahead anyway and it did.

and? Did she survive?
mattk
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7th Nov 07 at 20:55   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

My nans just gone through it, she had the type were the hair doesnt fall out,

Still made her very ill and weak, its very uncomfy
Hammer
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7th Nov 07 at 20:56   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

In the case of a mentally incapacitated individual it changed from an enduring power of attorney EPA's that had dealt with property and affairs to lasting power of attorney LPA's that have the decision making process when it comes to someone's personal welfare that includes healthcare. So basically if she is recieving chemo without an appointed LPA and she doesn't have the capacity to make the decision herself i think it then falls on the medical staffs common sense/better judgement.
ed
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7th Nov 07 at 20:57   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Robin
Dragging it out makes it worse for everyone anyway, so it's a bit of a backwards way of doing things
That's the problem with modern medicine Did you ever see the thing about the guy who had a mechanical heart fitted?
Robin
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7th Nov 07 at 20:59   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by ed
quote:
Originally posted by Robin
Dragging it out makes it worse for everyone anyway, so it's a bit of a backwards way of doing things
That's the problem with modern medicine Did you ever see the thing about the guy who had a mechanical heart fitted?


No?
James_DT
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7th Nov 07 at 21:04   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

One of the guys at work has just started chemo. He had the tumor removed successfully, the chemo is just to get the odd cancerous cells that have gone walkabouts. It's not affected him too badly, just a bit of tiredness so far. His was caught early though- there's no point if it's too far settled and it's not going to make it better. It drags out the suffering and the heavier chemo makes people feel worse.
gavin18787
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7th Nov 07 at 22:06   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Im not up on all of the ethical issues but I prepare alot of the chemo cytotoxic drugs where I work so can get you any info to that side of it if you want


Drives supercharged Tec with torque
SetH
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7th Nov 07 at 23:30   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

i think its quite far gone, apparantly ovarian cancer is really hard to detect. They have been down all routes relating to bowel etc, she went in for hysterectomy and thats when they discovered it.

She doesnt have any family over here, and my mum loves her to bits so guess with chemo she gets to watch her die a drawn out/uncomfortable death, this is going to be horrible

thanks for advice anyway, and apologies if this post is a bit heavy.
andy1868
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7th Nov 07 at 23:31   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

last year my grandma was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, i don't know fully what treatments she had, but chemo was one of them. she was later given the all clear.

about a week after my grandma was diagnosed my boss was also diagnosed with cancer of his colon. he had chemo and later had surgery to have a colostomy ( sp? ) bag fitted, in the same procedure they removed the tumour and found it wasn't cancerous. all they knew was that it was alot smaller than it used to be. i'm not sure if they were 100% it was cancer to start with or whether the chemo worked a treat. either way he's been given the all clear and doesn't mind what it was now, he isn't the kind to dwell on things like that.
RS6
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7th Nov 07 at 23:36   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Patients are asked if they want to have chemo treatment, because in most cases when the diagnosis looks bad, it can often make things worse and make the cancer spread even more rapidly, it can help early on in treatment but the choice is there for the patient to make.

My dad was asked this when he had cancer would he like another batch of radiotherapy and chemotherapy he could never understand why they asked him do you want it? Of course I want he said! but looking back we reckon if he had turned it down he may have survived longer as it just made things worse towards the end and made the cancer rampant
Robin
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7th Nov 07 at 23:38   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by SetH
She doesnt have any family over here, and my mum loves her to bits so guess with chemo she gets to watch her die a drawn out/uncomfortable death, this is going to be horrible



That'd be the case with or without it really
bigdan
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7th Nov 07 at 23:49   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

my dadsbest mate had a about 6 months worth of chemo in a week couldnt get out of bed all week. they were trying to shrink it down but he died of a bloodclot causing a heart attack through lying in bed

they said it could make him last longer or maybe even cure him
lozarus
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8th Nov 07 at 00:44   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

i had cancer when i was 13. i was serriously ill but all the docs kept on telling me that i had an ion defficiency, basically i needed to eat more red meat and drink guinness sooo i done all that and still no better. when on holiday in devon i got so ill i had to go hospital and it werent untill then that they found a lump in my arm, one thing led to another and before i knew it i was in the Royal Marsden hotel in sutton, a specialist cancer hospital. Turned out i had 4 tumors. 4 months in hospital on a chemo course later and i had finished the course of chemotherapy which tbh is rather intense, makes you feel even more rough than you already feel, which is like no other feeling in the world! and i was given the all clear!....

Am now 4 years in remmission..

Chemo does work.
Jill
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8th Nov 07 at 08:56   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by SetH
Before i go googling reems of information i just wondered if anyone was clued up on chemotherapy and what it involves.

one of the learning disabilities adults my mum cares for has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that has spread to the stomach.

She is starting chemo treatment in 2 weeks but the nurse told my mum today it wont make her better.

Am i missing something here? why would they give chemo if there is no hope of it working, isnt this just causing unecessary suffering? I dont know much about chemo just the fact that its unpleasant.

Ovarian cancer is quite an aggressive tumour if it's not caught in the early stages. The TNM grading of the tumour can classify this and denote the stage of the tumour etc. Obviously if it is a high grade then the tumour can form metastasis and spread via the lymphatic system to pretty much anywhere in the body. With ovarian cancer the common secondary sites are colon, diaphragm and stomach. With metastasis the prognosis is not good and therefore chemotherapy is often used as a palliative care measure for the patient and help control the tumour and even further spread. Obviously the chemotherapy will not cure the patient in this case but it is a better contol measure than not treating the patient with chemo and the tumour spreading and spreading to other areas until their body becomes riddled with tumours and die a horrible no doubt painful death, more so than they would under chemtherapy treatment. Hope that makes sence.


JILL
SetH
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8th Nov 07 at 09:19   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Thanks Jill and everyone else
SetH
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4th Jul 18 at 12:19   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Was Jill a real person or a Jimmy Bennet creation?

 
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