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Thread: Why not stop chemo and seek alternative treatment?

  1. #1
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    Why not stop chemo and seek alternative treatment?

    My mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma about two months ago, after not getting over the flu. She had renal failure. Now she is on chemo and does dialysis thrice weekly. Her hemoglobin count dropped; she got anemia and thus needed a blood transfusion recently.

    Chemo (since it attacks all rapidly-dividing cells, including cells that turn into red blood cells), multiple myeloma, or both can cause anemia, and 97% of multiple myeloma patients have anemia at some point.

    Since the chemo is reducing her plasma cell count, what is the worst that could happen by stopping chemo and seeking alternative treatment?

    From the UpToDate article on multiple myeloma (http://www.uptodate.com/contents/mul...ond-the-basics), chemo seems very ineffective:

    "In most people, chemotherapy partially controls multiple myeloma; rarely, chemotherapy leads to complete remission."

    And transplantation, too, is ineffective, plus having many limitations and side-effects:

    "Transplantation, when successful, prolongs survival, leads to a remission, and, infrequently, cures multiple myeloma. However, transplantation has several limitations. The high-dose chemotherapy given before transplantation usually fails to kill all of the plasma cells, allowing the condition to relapse after transplantation. Such treatment also puts the patient at risk for serious infections and bleeding, which can be fatal. "

    (UpToDate supposedly is used by 700,000+ physicians worldwide, thus it's not alternative medicine.)

    Also, my wife's aunt was completely bedridden because of her bone marrow cancer chemo treatment, probably due to anemia, yet when she decided to stop chemo and seek alternative care, her health improved enormously.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi
    Sorry to find you here.

    Well alternatives don't work, if they did they would be used all the time. The benefit is your mum would probably feel better once the chemo has stopped but the downside is a shorter life. There are plenty of 5 and 10 year survivors of MM to attest to the fact the current treatment is effective for many people.

    So whats it to be? A shorter life with some quality or a longer life with less quality. The difference in quality won't be great though as MM in late stages is not pleasant.

    Sorry you are dealing with this but i could suggest you leave treatment decisions to your mother and take that burden away from you as you already have enough to worry about.

    Good luck
    Age 62
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    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

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  3. #3
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Geremia

    How old is your mother ?
    Age 62
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a Bulky presentation
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011

    NED AND DECLARED CURED on the 2/01/2013

    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    Still alive in 2019 !

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

 

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