Paclitaxel and Carboplatin

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Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with squamous cell anal cancer in 2022 and had the standard chemo radiotherapy treatment. Now it’s back and spread to my lymph node.

I was due to have APR & Barbie Butt surgery last week but it has been postponed. The drs want me to have 3 months of chemo first to try and shrink it.
I’m going to start weekly intravenous Paclitaxel and Carboplatin next week.

I’m just wondering if anyone in this group has had that chemo regime before? What were your side effects? Was it successful in shrinking your tumours? Any other information would be great.
Thank you and wishing everyone well. Hugging

  • Hi  ,

    Firstly I’m really sorry that you’re facing this dreadful disease again. I don’t have experience of this chemo regime personally but hopefully someone will see your post that will be able to help with the information you’re seeking. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. 


  • Hello Jessica78

    I am really sorry to hear that your treatment wasn't totally successful in eradicating the cancer and that you have to go through more treatment.  At diagnosis I had a tumour, two or three lymph nodes affected and a spot on the lung.  So my initial treatment was six cycles over six months of Paclitaxel/Carboplatin to shrink everything and control the spread.  After the first week's chemo, when blood tests showed my liver levels were too high, I had to miss the second week and then they continued with a revised 75% dose.  I have to say I felt fine and was totally unaware of what was happening to my liver.  I tolerated the chemo very well, for a couple of days afterwards I couldn't sleep with the steroids given to counteract nausea, and just lets say it wasn't unusual to find me cleaning the house at 2am in the morning!  Then I would have a bit of a slump and feel tired, but recovered quite quickly.  I met with the oncologist every month and she confirmed that everything had shrunk, and then on the final six month scan shrinkage had slowed down and I was stable but she said that was totally to be expected.  I have no lasting side effects except for slight neuropathy in my feet, I don't have real numbness but they get red-hot at night in bed, but I just stick them out from under the duvet.

    I tried the cold cap to prevent hair loss and lasted all of two minutes - it was excruciatingly uncomfortable but the nurses were fine with removing it and were laughing with me - they had to try the cap as part of their training and said they couldn't believe that people could sit with this on their head for hours.  So I lost all my hair (loss started between the second and third week) but found a really helpful seller on Etsy who sold caps that were very soft cotton and didn't look like swimming hats and she even made me some in colours to go with my summer outfits - I am happy to give you details.  My daughter bought me very soft eye pencils which I put to good use, day and night!

    I took a newspaper, my Sudoku book and my laptop into the sessions, and not once did I ever clock-watch.  Just make sure you drink plenty fluids before your session to help with the cannula insertion - I have tiny veins and needed to be prepared.  Finally, In the very early days, the cancer nurse asked me if I would like to see round the chemo unit and I point-blank refused and shot out the door, I was still in shock over my diagnosis and was absolutely terrified.  And it when I did finally get there, it was a revelation.  I couldn't believe it, it was such a positive place, there was lots of laughter between the nurses and the patients, chatting, catching up and a real feel-good atmosphere.

    If I think of anything else I'll let you know.

    Sending a big hug.

    Irene xx  

  • Hi Irene

    Thank you so much for replying and for sharing your experience. I’m so glad the treatment worked at shrinking your tumours and you didn’t suffer too many bad side effects. I’m going to try the cold cap but I’m not too bothered about losing my hair, have always had long hair but it’s an excuse to try a new short style! I hope you are doing well now and thanks for the tips on what to take and looking around the unit. I guess the first day will be scary but then I’ll get in to the swing of things. 
    Best wishes 


  • Hi Jessica I'm inasimilar situation to you my cancer is back and is in my glands i start chemo next week 

    How are you doing g now ?