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Which has less side effects Capecitabine or 5fu and is more effective for colon cancer ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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which has less side effects capecitabine or 5fu. also which is more effective for colon cancer. do either of these make you loose your hair. I was stage 3 cancer. a tumor of about 8 inches was removed. 1 lymph node was affected and 65 were taken out. i feel fine now, strong and ready to work, but was recommended to have capecitabine and oxy every third week for 8 sessions. my oncologist mentioned 3A but not sure what this means. I want to work at least one or two hours a day during chemo but was told i cannot. io am a self employed driving instructor.
Posted Thu, 12 Jul 2012 in Colon Cancer
Follow-up: Which has less side effects Capecitabine or 5fu and is more effective for colon cancer ? 7 minutes later
you did not have the correct category for me to choose. i have bowel cancer. can you tell me how quickly does the cancer advance from stage 0 to stage 3. is it within weeks/months. do you think its necessary to have chemo as a preventative measure to mop up any cells which might not be visible to the naked eye. i am so scared of chemo., and its; side effects. oxy and capecitabine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 9 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for writing in.
Cancer is a disorder which usually progresses stage wise. The earlier the stage, the better is the long term outlook. Having Stage 3 A cancer means that the cancer has infiltrated the submucosa ( which is the second layer from the top), a few lymph nodes are involved. However, the good news is that there are no distant metastasis ( it has not spread to distant organs). The rate of progression from stage 1 cancer to stage 3 cancer will depend on the type of cancer, the treatment offered and on several individual factors.
As of now, chemotherapy is recommended as a part of the treatment of stage 3 colon cancer and I would suggest that you go ahead with chemotherapy.
As far as choosing the drugs is concerned, both drugs ( capecitabine and 5-fluorouracil) have been found to have the same efficacy as far as disease free ssurvival is concerned. With capecitabine, hand-foot syndrome ( a disorder where the hands and feet hurt and get swollen) and increased bilirubin levels are much more common . Whereas, for patients receiving 5-fluorouracil , diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, stomatitis ( inflammation of the mouth, lips and the lining of the tongue), alopecia ( hair loss), and neutropenia ( decrease in the neutrophils) were more common.
So, 5-flurouracil will make you lose your hair as well.
Overall, I would suggest that capecitabine is a better alternative as far as day to day quality of life is concerned. But the problem with the hand foot syndrome, may affect your capability to work as an instructor, atleast temporarily. Having said that, I would like to emphasize that not everyone who receives capecitabine suffers from hand foot syndrome.
Hope this helps. Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Which has less side effects Capecitabine or 5fu and is more effective for colon cancer ? 11 hours later
I asked several more questions about two hours but have not had an email to say this has been received. Please let me know whether you have received it. thank you.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 7 hours later
Hi,
I am afraid I havent received any more questions. If you have a problem posting them, you can send them to YYYY@YYYY . In the subject line, mention Attention to Dr Aparna.
I will shortly have my customer care representative contact you.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Which has less side effects Capecitabine or 5fu and is more effective for colon cancer ? 20 hours later
The rate of progression from stage 1 cancer to stage 3 cancer will depend on the type of cancer, the treatment offered and on several individual factors.

can you tell me please what do you exactly mean by the above answer. It is bowel cancer, the tumor and 1 lymph node that was affected have been removed plus 64 lymph nodes which were not affected. Surely the cancer starts at stage 1, so how long before it reaches stage 2 or 3. I had symptoms in February 2012 and had the operation in April 2012. Has it gone from stage 1 to 3 in such a short time?

I have ordered some alternative medicine from Croatia. They distribute this medication which was first discovered by Dr. Hulda XXXXXXX an American lady. It consists of wormwood, little black walnuts and cloves which are crushed and made into a capsule. Do you think it's o.k. for me to take this alongside chemotherapy? these capsules are supposed to get rid of parasites (I think this is what it's called). Have you heard of tibetan mushrooms. You put these in a cup of milk which turns into yogurt the next day. You drink it, wash the mushrooms and put milk in again for the next day. I have just had a delivery of these tiny little things. A lot of info., on the internet about them. Can I also take vitamin c, vitamin d, selenium, chokeberry capsules, omega 3 capsules and manuka honey. Finally, which fruit is best to eat which help to keep cancer away. Thank you
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 4 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for writing back.
The rate of progression of bowel cancer from a benign, harmless condition varies between 10-15 years. This means that these cancers usually start off as a benign process and changes accumulate in them to form carcinomas. It generally takes about 1-2 years for an early stage cancer to progress to stage 3. Since symptoms usually appear at stage 3, it is likely that you had stage 1 cancer about 1 year ago. It is unlikely that stage 1 went to stage 3 in about the 4 months that you have described.
While you can continue this alternative medicine alongside chemotherapy, I would like to tell you that current studies do not show wormwood to be effective in treating cancer.
You can take Vitamin C, manuka honey and chokeberry capsules, but excessive Vitamin D and selenium have side effects since they are stored in the body. I would suggest you stay away from them. Also, manuka honey has proven anti-bacterial activity and I dont think you'd significantly benefit from it now.
Foods like citrus fruits (like oranges, lemons, gooseberries) , wheat grass which is XXXXXXX in Vitamin C and E ( which have proven anti-oxidant activity which is known to fight cancer) would be good.
Hope this helps. Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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