My husband (also stage 4) has been on break for a year now, after 18 cycles of Folfiri plus Avastin. His CEA values are rising but his scan his stable; his onc said, « we treat for quality of life, and we don’t treat numbers » and in the chart wrote that he recommends the break continues until something does show up on scan. He told my husband that studies do not show any benefit of doing chemo when the only sign of cancer is a high CEA.
I have to say, my husband is very happy not to have chemo; we also feel that should he need to resume it, the break gave his body lots of time to build his strength back up (he cycles a lot, 10-20 miles a day), grow back his hair and beard, and this way he did not develop resistance to a treatment that worked well for him.
Just a personal opinion, but we’re all for a break! His onc does not seem to be a « chemo pusher », either...
Wife of Dx 04/18 (51 yo). MSS, KRAS G12A
No primary (involuted?)
Lytic tumor L4 vertebrae, EBRT 04/18, SBRT 02/19
Resect small intestine 05/18 (no cancer - Crohn's)
Failed adjuvant Xelox
Folfiri + Avastin 03/19 to 01/20
6.7 cm left adrenal mass 03/19, successful resection 02/20
CEA since 03/19: high 58, low 3.2, now 51
Scan 03/19: Multiple small lung nodules, now gone
PET 04/20 uptake by L4
L3-L4-L5 fusion surgery and partial corpectomy 05/20
Scan 12/20: nothing to report