I discoverd something I had suspected. There is a small increase in the rate of leukemia in patients treated with WBC stimulating drugs. Makes sense, as speeding up production of cells increases the chance of DNA transcription errors. As the article suggests, it's not enough to stop using it for people who truly need the drug, but would certianly warrent caution for everyone else. No drug is risk free, ever. I also did some other googling around. While the drugs ARE indicated for each chemo infusion, they seem to be in most common usage for treating leukemias and lymphomas, where the chemo pretty much wipes out the bone marrow. Again, in those cases, it would make sense to treat more often. Those patinets are severly low, and get low every time. If they have a small risk of a new leukemia, it's a small price for the good chance of a cure for a disease that's highly lethal without aggressive treatment. ( the cells they're stimulating are not the same type as the ones that are malignant, in case you're wondering) We don't always get that low and may not need it. The blurb I read in the PDR knock-off said the stuff can be give with each chemo infusion, but didn't sepcify what kind of chemo or what kind of cancer. Funny what you can come up with when you dig around. In any case, I would definately take the drug if my counts were low. Infection with low counts can be as life threatening as the cancer. In my nursing days, we lost patinets to infections as often as to cancer before we could treat low counts. Antibiotics can't always handle it without the body's immune system to back them up. If they could, AIDS patients wouldn't die. BUT, if the counts aren't down, have a heart-to-heart with your doc. Learn how to be careful with precautions at home and stay away from stuff that can make you sick. Learn to live with marginal counts and stay healthy. Above all , make a decision that makes YOU comfortable. Long term risks vs short term risks. It's up to you. If you're more comfortable having whopping high WBC's maybe you need the piece of mind. Or if you have a lifestyle that puts you at unusual risk, you may be unable to take the precautions. Clean out barns for a living? Pick crabs? Get all the information you can beforehand and have that talk with your doc.
Dx Stage IIIC CC 3/10/06
Folfox 4/06 - 10/06
Avastin 4/06 - 4/07
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.