HOW MANY CHEMO AND RADIATION TREATMENTS CAN A YOU HAVE IN A LIFETIME?

this may sound like a stupid question to some but my brother has never asked his radiation or chemo doctors these questions. he has had 30 radiations on the tumor and lymph nodes last october. he just had his 7 chemo treatment. the radiation doctor told him that IF he knew he had stage IV before he started the radiation treatments he would only have given him 20 treatments. the chemo dr. when this started said he wld be getting 3 treatments. then it went to 3-4 and then when those were finished 5 and 6 came and now 7. he had a pet scan after xmas and it showed "NO ACTIVE cancer", whatever that means. she did not say he was in remission or it was gone just not active. so i figured she is giving this extra treatments to kill any rogue cells circulating. is there a limit on how many chemo treatments a person can have in a lifetime before it damages their healthy organs? by the way, he was doing carboplatin the first four treatments and the dr. took that out for #5,6, & 7.

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Our radiologist will give 30 if surgery, 35 if he ends up not a canidate for surgery. That is only for the one tumor. Praying that he doesnt get it anywhere else but if he did, radiation could be done there too. Hope this helps

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There is no stupid questions. I think it depends on each person and sometimes each Dr. I had 30 radiation to the chest, main tumor. Had 15 PCI to the brain. I do not remember how many cycles of chemo...Dec-june. They normally will not tell us cured, or gone, just NED-No Evidence of Disease.
I think even one treatment of chemo or radiation can hurt us, again it just depends on the individual and what we can handle. Hope this helps some....you should get plenty of replies.

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When giving radiation with intent to cure lung cancer without surgery, it's typical to get 6-7 weeks of daily treatment (usually M-F). Depending on the amount of radiation you get each day, this could be 30-35 treatments. The total Grays you receive (a measure of the amount of radiation) in an area determines whether you can have radiation in that area again. However, you can have radiation in another location at another time, if needed.

I received a total of 66 Grays of radiation to my left lung and lower mediastinum (the area between the lungs), given in lower dose fractions over 33 days. That tissue has received the maximum "safe" dosage of radiation, so I can't have radiation there again. However, I had another tumor pop up near my collarbone, and my oncologist is considering treating it with radiation to sterilize the area. Sometimes other forms of radiation (like Gamma Knife or Cyber Knife) are used to treat mets in the brain and elsewhere.

As far as chemo goes, how long you can have it depends on the chemo drug, the dose, and your body's reaction to it. There are people on this board with Stage IV NSCLC who have been on maintenance chemo like Alimta for years. I just learned that a friend with Stage IV prostate cancer had 45 rounds of taxol! Evidently it was keeping his aggressive cancer under control with bearable side effects, so he and his oncologist decided to stay with it.

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Find the video on cut, poison, and burn document. Another thing, conventional treatment is not the answer.
It may kill the cancer but it affects the immune system that the body needs to stay healthy. It actually disturbs cancer cells.
Poisoning the body is not the answer. God made our bodies to heal themselves with clean water and proper nutrition.
We are conditioned to believe treatments work but there is a lot of money to be made in this field and big companies are not as concerned weather you die or not. Their main concern is the money they make from your illness.

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Find the video on cut, poison, and burn document. Another thing, conventional treatment is not the answer.
It may kill the cancer but it affects the immune system that the body needs to stay healthy. It actually disturbs cancer cells.
Poisoning the body is not the answer. God made our bodies to heal themselves with clean water and proper nutrition.
We are conditioned to believe treatments work but there is a lot of money to be made in this field and big companies are not as concerned weather you die or not. Their main concern is the money they make from your illness.

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Sorry, but i dont entirely agree with this past statement. God makes science possible. Different treatment works for different people. The power of prayer combined with the power of treatment work hand and hand. People need to do what is right for them..if all natural works for your situation lisadj, then by all means, do it. However, please don't try to scare people into not doing conventional treatment because many survivors have had both God and science working for them.

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Lisadj, I'm glad you found a treatment protocol that worked well for you physically and emotionally.

Please remember that everyone must make their own choices for treatment based on what they judge is in their own best interest. Certainly we can offer opinions and options. However, once someone makes a choice and is proceeding with treatment, it serves no positive purpose to tell them you disagree with their choice. Dealing with lung cancer is tough enough without criticism.

Let's be supportive of each other.

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thank you for your answers. please keep them coming. my brother has inoperarable stave IV. he has cancer cells in the lining ard lungs and lymph nodes near the collar bone. the chemo dr. did mention "maintenance chemo" but she also said he would have to decide when he would stop. he is having very few side effects since he is not taking the carboplatin. a little tired. so i didn't know how long he would need to do the "maintenance" to keep it inactive. guess i was hoping to here your responses, good and bad, so i would know the truth. i don't feel like the doctors volunteer any information unless you ask a direct question and my brother doesn't ask the hard questions. of course, there may not be any answers either and by the way i can't go to the dr. with him because he lives 1000 miles away. thanks for your help.

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Im not sure how much Chemo you could have, I assume it depends on how your body responds to it. I had several sessions in the past year. I had a total of 40 radiation treatments to my right upper lung and they tell me that I maxed out with radiation, any addl radiation would result in oxygen dependence and possible some paralysis from the damage. They could do radiation to another body part if needed. If your doc tells you no active cancer, sounds like you might be in remission which is great. Good luck to you; June

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I had this conversation with my Rad Doc a few weeks ago. He told me that if I had a occurrence in a different location, I could have as much radiation that I have already had as long as it was directed to different location. Say right lung instead of left. And if I got it in my toe, I could have more there too. None would be doubled up in the same location.
Julie JB

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Excellent to hear that the scan is clear and that he is doing well.
That warrants a Happy Dance here on Inspire.

What kind of chemo is he getting?
There are "maintenance chemos" thaat you can have for quite some time. Some people have been on alimta for years, some take "chemo holidays" to let the body rest up a bit.
You have every reason to be happy for the clear scan, there is PLENTY of hope.
Did your brother have his tumor tested for mutations?

IF not and IF the cancer comes back, he can have it tested and move on from there.

Wishing you and your brother all the best.

Annika

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thanks for the replies. so no more radiation on the tumor in his lung or lymph nodes. had 30 of those in 30 days! i am not sure what the other 2 drugs are he got in the 5,6 & 7 treatment. i wll ask him. will mention that it sounds like altima cld be used long term with some breaks in between. his chemo treatments are always 3 weeks apart, never any closer. thanks again.

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Did he have 7 chemo treatments or 7 rounds of treatments?My husband had chemo 3 days a week every 3 weeks-6 rounds- 18 tretments total his WHITE CELLS NEEDED NULASTA SHOTS AND HIS RED FELL AND HE NEEDED PROCRIT TO RAISE THEM hE CANT EAT BECAUSE EVERYTHING TASTES SOUR SO HE LOST 30 LBS.the radiation just finished today 15 rounds for a few minutes only to his brain,not lungs because it was spread all over lungs-but doctor says its inactive-not in remission so every test will continue to see if it spreads again-gone from nodes kidney and shrank in liver and lungs but chemo distroyed his strength and energy can barely walk.Th e doctor said without the chemo (started in Sept) he wouldnt be here now

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Jim had RUL lobectomy 3/10, recurrence 3/11 chemo, 2 tx of Alimta, did nothing, 6 tx with TAxotere, good response, 6 week break, progression, 4 tx with Gemzar, did nothing.
Kidney transplant 16 yrs ago, oncs terrified to give him Carboplatin. Single agents. Onc told him he could try Navelbene or call hospice.
MD Anderson in Houston, he is in line for a trial, having biopsy next week. This onc said there are other options.
Performance status is 0, he golfed a few days ago. lungs clear, has met in liver, it was 6 x 8 cm 5 weeks ago, we dont know how big it is now. Node activity.
He is ready to fight the beast, oncs say he has had alot of chemo?? The 3 he has had is usually given to a person all at once. If we dont like this gal, he will move to another, as long as he is strong.
MD Anderson told us that as long as the pt wants tx, they will get it.
Cindy

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