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Palliative chemo??

panic
Posted by

Hi all,

I've read, in a few posts, the phrase "paliative chemo" and would ask if anyone from the UK could explain this to me.

In Australia, once radiation, chemo- and immuno-therapies are out the window, and the doctors have ruled out any further treatments; that is when palliative medicine steps in. Our definition (down umder) is that palliative are medicines of comfort, not of cure. Palliative medicines are how they ease the transition into the long goodnight.

"Palliative chemo" anyone?

Cheers,
Ewen :-)

The day after your journey ends, the sun will still rise.
As will you.
Akela2516
Posted by

Hi Ewen,

As I understand it , it is chemo to control symptoms! Hopefully by shrinking the tumour but  it won’t cure the cancer! In my husbands case it is to improve his cough and pain and discomfort!!! He has lung cancer!

i can’t say I am convinced but he wants to give it a go as it is also supposed to ‘prolong life’ !! I would prefer good quality of life but I have to bite my tongue! Not sure if I find it harder because I am actually as nurse and I think high quality care for the dying is just as if not more important than clinging to poor quality life! 
x

Squire78
Posted by

Hi Ewen,

I second what Akela says - "palliative chemo" is not curative but it differs from "palliative care" in that it is still focused on treating the disease, whereas palliative care is focused on making the patient as comfortable as possible without treating the underlying disease. 

I had not heard of it until it was explained to me when I had my first meeting with my oncologist. I think it is commonly used in advanced cancer where it can help shrink tumours  and slow down the disease progression if it works. There are people here that it has worked very well for. There are some cases where the palliative chemo has worked so well in shrinking tumours that it puts options like surgery back on the the table, in which case treatment can become curative again. Often it is a way of giving someone more time - I believe it is very common for it to work for someone for a while, and then become less effective. In my case, I am having four cycles of palliative chemo and then depending on the results of a scan, the oncologist will decide whether to continue or try something else. The something else might be immunotherapy, clinical trials, or possibly other chemo drugs.

My experience to date (three cycles in) is that several of my symptoms have either gone away or drastically reduced, and although the chemo does have side effects, it has been manageable - very manageable in fact.  

Hope this may help.

Akela2516
Posted by

That is encouraging to me to hear that your symptoms are more manageable! My husband has only had one lot!!! Calling it a lot as the hospital have confused me on terminology now! I did understand what a cycle etc was but they seem to keep changing terms and everything tbh!! 
I just want him to be more comfortable and for some of the awful symptoms to stop! These seemed to get a hell of lot worse after his bronchoscopy!!! 
I am scared to ask the hospital as so far they have simply told me off for wanting to now more and keep saying ummm they are common symptoms!!! Which I do know can be controlled!! I just feel he is a guinea pig!!! 
Thank you for letting us know that your symptoms are better though! It is reassuring . I hope you continue to feel better xxx

panic
Posted by

Thanks to all that replied. All the replies makes sense, but I haven't heard of it here in Australia.

Cheers,
Ewen :-)

The day after your journey ends, the sun will still rise.
As will you.