Chemotherapy | Cancer Treatment FAQ and Patient Stories

Chemotherapy FAQ
Cancer Treatment
Stories

Chemotherapy or chemo is one of the most common types of cancer treatments that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells.

Below, find answers to popular chemotherapy questions and experiences of chemotherapy shared by The Patient Story community.


General Chemotherapy FAQ

How does chemotherapy work?

Chemotherapy or chemo is used to stop or slow down growth of cancer cells. It can cure or treat cancer, control cancer, and/or help ease the symptoms of cancer (palliative care).

  • Cure or treat cancer: This is when chemotherapy is able to destroy cancer cells to the point where your medical team cannot see or detect them in your body, and they do not grow back.
  • Control cancer: This is when chemotherapy is able to stop the spread of cancer, slows cancer cell growth, or destroy cancer cells in the spread to other parts of your body (metastasis).
  • Easing symptoms (palliative care): This is when chemotherapy is able to shrink down tumors that cause pressure, discomfort, and pain.
Who should get chemotherapy?

This depends case by case. Chemotherapy can be given alone, but many times it is used alongside other cancer treatments and therapies based on the cancer type and behavior.

How does chemo work alongside other therapies and treatments?

Used as a part of a treatment plan, chemo can act in multiple ways:

  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy: Shrinks tumors before radiation therapy or surgery.
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy: Destroys cancer cells that may linger even after other treatment, like radiation therapy or surgery.
  • Chemo can make other treatments more effective.
  • Chemo can destroy cancer cells that have spread to other parts of your body (metastasis) or that have returned (refractory and relapsed cases of cancer).
Chemotherapy side effects

Chemotherapy works by using drugs to kill rapidly-growing cancer cells. That means it also kills or slows the growth of healthy fast-growing cells, like those in your intestines, scalp, and mouth lining.

This leads to many side effects, which usually lessen and disappear after you’ve finished chemotherapy.

For more on various side effects with different cancers, check out these cancer treatment side effect stories from our community.

Here’s a list of the most common (but not all) side effects:

  • Anemia
  • Appetite loss
  • Bleeding and bruising (Thrombocytopenia)
  • Constipation
  • Delirium
  • Diarrhea
  • Edema (Swelling)
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility issues
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Hair loss (Alopecia)
  • Infection and neutropenia
  • Lymphedema
  • Memory, concentration problems (“Chemo Brain/Fog”)
  • Mouth and throat problems
  • Mucositis (mouth sores)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Immunotherapy and organ-related inflammation
  • Pain
  • Sexual health issues
  • Skin and nail changes
  • Sleep problems, insomnia
  • Urinary and bladder problems

Chemotherapy Stories and Experiences

Here are different experiences with chemotherapies and chemotherapy regimens, as told by our TPS community members.

ABVD

Get all the information about the ABVD chemotherapy regimen, used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. Here you’ll also find patient stories.

→ Read more

Adriamycin (doxorubicin)

Adriamycin, also known for the generic name doxorubicin, is a chemotherapy drug used for treating a variety of cancers. It is sometimes known as the “Red Devil” because of its bright red color and typically more harsh side effects.

Click here to go to our Adriamycin (doxorubicin) page

Cancers commonly treated:

Adriamycin patient stories

Mantle Cell Lymphoma Stories: Stage 4, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma| Sheryl’s Story

Sheryl B., Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL), Stage 4



1st Symptoms: (Over 15 years) Skin irritation from temperature changes, rising WBC levels, unexplained fatigue, retinal hemorrhage, hardened abdomen (from enlarged spleen)
Treatment: 6 cycles Hyper-CVAD chemotherapy
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2BX | Mara’s Patient Story

Mara T., Stage 2BX (Bulky)



1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, back pains, daily migraines
Treatment: 3 rounds of ABVD, 3 rounds AVD, Radiation
Topics: Self-advocacy, mental health
Sarcoma Stories:  Synovial Sarcoma, Stage 1B, Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Kara L., Synovial Sarcoma, Stage 1B



1st Symptoms: Pain behind left knee, needle-like sensation in left foot
Treatment: Surgery to remove what was thought to be benign tumor, chemotherapy, final surgery, radiation (36 sessions)
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 3B | Erica’s Patient Story

Erica H., Hodgkin's, Stage 3B



Cancer details: Staged at 3B
1st Symptoms: Intense itchiness, fatigue, night sweats, weight loss
Treatment:ABVD chemotherapy, 6 cycles (12 infusions)
Sarcoma Stories: Ewing Sarcoma, Stage 1B | Brandi’s Story

Brandi B.,
Ewing Sarcoma,
Stage 1B (Soft Tissue)




Cancer Details: Adult case of soft tissue Ewing sarcoma, not bone sarcoma
1st Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, lump in pelvic area
Treatment: 17 cycles of chemotherapy in-patient at hospital with (leg-sparing) surgery in between
Sarcoma Stories:  Ewing Sarcoma (Bone)| Ariane’s Story

Ariane B., Ewing Sarcoma (Bone)



Cancer details: Most common in kids, young adults (teens through mid-20s)
1st Symptoms: Aching in arm, lump in forearm
Treatment: Chemo (14 rounds), surgery (of radius), radiation (36 sessions)
Sarcoma Stories: Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Desmoid Tumor, AYA Cancer

Demi D., Desmoid Tumor



Cancer details: Rare, <3% of all soft tissue tumors, more common in women
1st Symptoms: fatigue, lump in hip
Treatment: Surgery, radiation, chemo
Leukemia Stories: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), B-Cell, PH- | Veronica’s Story

Veronica B., Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)




1st symptoms: Mild shortness of breath and palpitations
Treatment: Chemo, targeted therapy, double cord transplant
Leukemia Story: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Relapse | Casey’s Story

Casey H., Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)




1st symptoms:
Lump on throat, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, bruising easily
Treatment:
Chemo, immunotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Nodular Sclerosis, Stage 4A | Lia’s Story

Lia S., Nodular Sclerosis, Stage 4A



Cancer details: Most common and most treatable form of Hodgkin's lymphoma
1st Symptoms:
Extreme lower back pain
Treatment:
ABVD chemotherapy
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 4, Classical | CC’s Story

CC W., Hodgkin's, Stage 4



Cancer details: Diagnosed at 29, misdiagnosed as mono
1st Symptoms: Achiness, extreme fatigue, reactive rash on chest and neck. Later: chills, night sweats
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (6 cycles)
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 3A, Refractory to Gray Zone Lymphoma | Kayla’s Story

Kayla T., Hodgkin's, Stage 3A



Cancer details: Possibly misdiagnosed the first time; later diagnosed as grey zone lymphoma
1st Symptoms: Pulled muscle in chest
Treatment: ABVD chemo, radiation, high-dose chemo, stem cell transplant
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 3, Relapse | Tylere’s Story

Tylere P., Hodgkin, Stage 3



Cancer details: Mother is a nurse practitioner; suspected cancer
1st Symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes in neck
Treatment: Clinical trial; Chemotherapy, BMT
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2X| Jade’s Patient Story

Jade B., Hodgkin, Stage 2X



Cancer details: Diagnosed at 21 years old
1st Symptoms: Itchy legs and feet
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (4 treatments), AVD (remaining treatments)
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2B | Katee’s Patient Story

Katee P., Hodgkin, Stage 2B



Cancer details: Accidentally found in x-ray after months of symptoms
1st Symptoms: Night sweats, fatigue, extreme itchiness, persistent cough
Treatment: Clinical trial; AAVD chemo, immunotherapy
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2BX | Stephanie’s Story

Stephanie O., Hodgkin's, Stage 2B



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough
Treatment: Stanford V chemotherapy (12 weeks, 1 infusion each week), radiation (20 days)
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2BX, Relapse | Fabiola’s Patient Story

Fabiola L., Hodgkin's, Stage 2BX



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease, relapsed after 1st chemo. Remission after 2nd chemo & bone marrow transplant
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue
Treatment: ABVD chemo (6 cycles), IGEV chemo, bone marrow transplant, BEAM chemo, brentuximab
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2A, AYA Cancer | Wade’s Patient Story

Wade W., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A



Cancer details: Diagnosed at 18 years old
1st Symptoms: Enlarged lymph nodes (around neck), diagnosed at 18 years old
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (2 cycles), AVD chemotherapy (4 cycles)
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2A, Relapse, Nodular Sclerosis | Lauren’s Patient Story

Lauren C., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A



Cancer details: Diagnosed at 23 years old with nodular sclerosis, relapsed after 6 months of 1st-line treatment
1st Symptoms: Itchy body, enlarged lymph node over collar bone
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy and ICE, radiation, and stem cell transplant for relapse
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2A | Helicon’s Patient Story

Helicon K., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A



Cancer details: Found lymphoma cells in adenoid tissue
1st Symptoms: Difficulty breathing with blockage in nose, surgery to remove tissue resulted in discovery of Hodgkin lymphoma cells
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (4 cycles), radiation (20 sessions)
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2A, Adolescent (AYA) Cancer | Logan’s Patient Story

Logan A., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A



Cancer details: Diagnosed at age 15
1st Symptoms:
Lump in neck & fatigue
Treatment:
4 cycles of ABVE-PC chemo
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2 | Lani’s Patient Story

Lani S., Hodgkin's, Stage 2



Cancer details: Tumor pressing on heart
1st Symptoms: Appendicitis led to CT scan that found tumor
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy, 7 cycles
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2 | Danielle’s Patient Story

Danielle D., Hodgkin's, Stage 2



Cancer details: Diagnosed at age 25
1st Symptoms: Swollen lump on right side of neck/chest area, continued to grow
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (3 cycles = 6 infusions)
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Nodular Sclerosis, Stage 1B | Madi’s Story

Madi J., Hodgkin's, Stage 1B



Cancer details: Most common and most treatable form of Hodgkin lymphoma
1st Symptoms:
Shortness of breath
Treatment:
3 rounds (6 infusions) of ABVD chemo
Breast Cancer Stories: Invasive & Lobular, Stage 3A,  ER+ | Tina’s Story
Tina C., Ductal & Lobular Carcinoma in Situ, Stage 3A, ER+



Cancer details: Both ductal and lobular, estrogen receptor positive. Different than breast cancer Tina’s mom was diagnosed w/ twice.
1st Symptoms: Sunken in nipple of right breast
Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 | Margaret’s Story

Margaret A., IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. DCIS means cancer has not spread into surrounding breast tissue
1st Symptoms: Pain in left breast, left nipple inverting
Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemo (AC-T), Radiation
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
Metastatic Breast Cancer Story: IDC, TNBC (Triple Negative), Stage 2B, Relapse, Stage 4 | Erin’s Story

Erin C., IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2B/4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Pain in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
Metastatic Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, HER2+, Stage 3, Relapse, Stage 4 | Renee’s Story

Renee N., IDC, Stage 3, HER2+



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, radiation
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 3, Grade 3, Triple Negative (TNBC), BRCA1+ | Stephanie’s  Story

Stephanie J., Stage 3, Triple Negative, BRCA1+



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, TNBC, Pregnant with Cancer | Melissa’s Story

Melissa H., Stage 2B, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Mastectomy, chemotherapy, 2nd mastectomy
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Triple +, Stage 3 | Stefanie’s Story

Stefanie H., IDC, Triple Positive, Stage 3



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, lumpectomy, radiation
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, Soft Tissue Sarcoma as 2nd Cancer | Monica’s Story

Monica H., IDC, Stage 2B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Tightness and lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+ | Callie’s Story

Callie M., IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+



Cancer Details: ER positive = estrogen receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Dimpling/lump found on breast
Treatment:
Mastectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, hysterectomy, reconstruction
Breast Cancer Stories: Triple Negative (TNBC), IDC,Stage 2, Grade 3, BRCA1+ | Joy’s Story

Joy R., IDC, Stage 2, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Chemo, double mastectomy, hysterectomy
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, ER+, PR+| Caitlin’s Story

Caitlin J., IDC, Stage 2B, ER/PR Positive



Cancer Details: ER/PR positive = estrogen and progesterone receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Lump found on breast
Treatment:
Lumpectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy (Lupron and Anastrozole)
Breast Cancer Stories: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), Stage 1B | Rachel’s Story

Rachel Y., IDC, Stage 1B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Stage 1B.
1st Symptoms: None, caught by delayed mammogram
Treatment: Double mastectomy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, hormone therapy Tamoxifen
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Primary Mediastinal B-Cell (PMBCL), Stage 2

Crystal Z., Primary Mediastinal (PMBCL), Stage 2



1st Symptoms: Chest pain
Treatment: 6 cycles of R-CHOP chemotherapy
BEP (Bleomycin, etoposide, platinum)

Cancers commonly treated: Testicular

Learn more about BEP chemotherapy →

Testicular Cancer Stories: Stage 3C, Non-Seminoma | Matthew’s Patient Story

Matthew O., Non-Seminoma, Stage 3C



Age Diagnosed: 24
1st Symptoms: Fatigue, one swollen testicle
Treatment: BEP chemotherapy, surgeries (including complications)
...
Testicular Cancer Stories: Embryonal Carcinoma, Non-Seminoma, Stage 2B | Hugo Toovey

Hugo T., Non-Seminoma, Stage 2B



Age at Diagnosis: 21
1st Symptoms:
Pea-sized lump on right testicle
Treatment: Surgical removal of right testicle, lymph node resection, chemotherapy

...
Testicular Cancer Stories: Non-Seminoma Germ Cell, Stage 3C

Steve L., Non-Seminoma, Stage 4



Age at Diagnosis: 25
1st Symptoms:
Grape-sized tumor on neck; hip and pelvis pain; ultrasound revealed tumor on right testicle
Treatment:
Chemotherapy (BEP), removal of right testicle, lymph node resection (RPLND), and tumor dissection in the neck
...
CAPOX (capecitabine, oxaliplatin)

Cancers commonly treated: Colorectal

Rectal Cancer Stories: Adenocarcinoma, Stage 3, Colorectal | Catherine’s  Story

Catherine P., Rectal Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Rectal adenocarcinoma; 98% of rectal and colon cancers are adenocarcinomas
1st Symptoms: Rectal bleeding, constipation, bloating
Treatment: Fertility treatments, chemo, radiation, tumor resection surgery
...
Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 3, Colorectal | Barbara’s Story

Barbara M., Colon Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Family history wasn’t flagged, should have had colonoscopy earlier
1st Symptoms: Stomach discomfort, difficult to process food
Treatment: Colectomy, Chemo (FOLFOX, CAPOX)
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Carboplatin

Cancers commonly treated:

Ovarian Cancer Stories: High-Grade Serous, Stage 1C | Randalynn’s Story

Randalynn V., High-Grade, Stage 1C



Cancer details:Account for up to 70% of cases
1st Symptoms:Pulling sensation when emptying bladder; abdominal pain
Treatment:Chemotherapy (Carboplatin & Paclitaxel) & surgery
...
Testicular Cancer Stories: Seminoma, Stage 1 | Rick’s Patient Story

Rick H., Seminoma, Stage 1



Age at Diagnosis: 34
1st Symptoms: Noticed one testicle larger than the other, dull pain
Treatment: Orchiectomy (surgical removal of one testicle), neoadjuvant chemo (1 infusion of Carboplatin)
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: High Grade, Stage 4, Metastatic | Susan’s Story

Susan R., High-Grade, Metastatic



Cancer details:Account for up to 70% of cases
1st Symptoms:Pulling sensation when emptying bladder; abdominal pain
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Carboplatin & Paclitaxel) & surgery
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: High-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 3C, BRCA1+ | Shirley’s Story

Shirley P., High-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 3C, BRCA1+



Cancer details:Account for up to 70% of cases
1st Symptoms:Pulling sensation when emptying bladder; abdominal pain
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Carboplatin & Taxol), de-bulking surgery & PARP inhibitors
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: Low Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 4B | Cheyann Shaw

Cheyann S., Low-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 4B



Cancer details: Makes up approximately 10% of cases of serous ovarian cancer.
1st Symptoms:
Stomach pain, constipation, lump on right side above pubic area
Treatments:
Cancer debulking surgery, chemotherapy (Carboplatin & Taxol, then Doxil & Avastin)
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: Low Grade Serous, Stage 3C | Alisa’s Story

Alisa M., Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer



Cancer details:Makes up approximately 10% of cases of serous ovarian cancer
1st Symptoms:Occasional rectal pain, acid reflux, bloating, night sweats
Treatment: Debulking surgies, chemotherapy, immunotherapy
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: Epithelial, Stage 2C & Uterine Cancer, Stage 1A | Heather’s Story

Heather M., Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Stage 2



Cancer Details: Also diagnosed w/uterine cancer 1A same time.
1st Symptoms: Extreme bloating, pinching pain in right side of abdomen, extreme fatigue
Treatment: Surgery (total hysterectomy), chemo (Taxol once a week for 18 week, Carboplatin every 3 weeks), concurrent clinical trial (Avastin) every 3 weeks
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 3, Relapse | Tylere’s Story

Tylere P., Hodgkin, Stage 3



Cancer details: Mother is a nurse practitioner; suspected cancer
1st Symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes in neck
Treatment: Clinical trial; Chemotherapy, BMT
...
Cervical Cancer Stories: Squamous Cell, Stage 1B1 | Mila’s Story

Mila L., Squamous, Stage 1B



1st Symptoms: Abnormal lump in cervix area, bleeding after sex
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Cisplatin), radiation, adjuvant chemotherapy (Carboplatin + Paclitaxel
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Story: IDC, TNBC (Triple Negative), Stage 2B, Relapse, Stage 4 | Erin’s Story

Erin C., IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2B/4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Pain in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 4, Triple Positive | Shari’s Story

Shari S., Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, HER2+, Stage 3, Relapse, Stage 4 | Renee’s Story

Renee N., IDC, Stage 3, HER2+



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 3, HER2+ | Genoa’s Story

Genoa M., Stage 2, HER2-Positive



Cancer details: HER2-positive tends to be more aggressive than HER2-negative cases
1st Symptoms: Nausea
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2A,Triple+ | Doreen’s Story

Doreen D., IDC, Stage 2A, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (TCHP), lumpectomy, radiation
...
Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)

Cancers commonly treated:

Mantle Cell Lymphoma Stories: Stage 4, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma| Sheryl’s Story

Sheryl B., Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL), Stage 4



1st Symptoms: (Over 15 years) Skin irritation from temperature changes, rising WBC levels, unexplained fatigue, retinal hemorrhage, hardened abdomen (from enlarged spleen)
Treatment: 6 cycles Hyper-CVAD chemotherapy
...
Rare Cancers: Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, Grade 3 | Caroline’s Story

Caroline Chisolm, Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, Grade 3



Cancer Details: As a result of a molar pregnancy
1st Symptoms:
Morning sickness and an unusually high beta hCG
Treatment:
EMACO chemotherapy
...
Multiple Myeloma Patient Stories: Relapsed/Refractory

Clay D., Multiple Myeloma



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Persistent kidney issues, nausea
Treatment:
chemo, radiation, stem cell transplant
...
Leukemia Stories: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Childhood Leukemia | William’s Story

William Y., Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)



1st symptoms: Extreme fatigue, achey hands
Treatment: Chemotherapy, CAR T-Cell therapy
...
Leukemia Story: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Relapse | Casey’s Story

Casey H., Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)




1st symptoms:
Lump on throat, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, bruising easily
Treatment:
Chemo, immunotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 3A, Refractory to Gray Zone Lymphoma | Kayla’s Story

Kayla T., Hodgkin's, Stage 3A



Cancer details: Possibly misdiagnosed the first time; later diagnosed as grey zone lymphoma
1st Symptoms: Pulled muscle in chest
Treatment: ABVD chemo, radiation, high-dose chemo, stem cell transplant
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2BX | Stephanie’s Story

Stephanie O., Hodgkin's, Stage 2B



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough
Treatment: Stanford V chemotherapy (12 weeks, 1 infusion each week), radiation (20 days)
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2BX, Relapse | Fabiola’s Patient Story

Fabiola L., Hodgkin's, Stage 2BX



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease, relapsed after 1st chemo. Remission after 2nd chemo & bone marrow transplant
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue
Treatment: ABVD chemo (6 cycles), IGEV chemo, bone marrow transplant, BEAM chemo, brentuximab
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2A, Adolescent (AYA) Cancer | Logan’s Patient Story

Logan A., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A



Cancer details: Diagnosed at age 15
1st Symptoms:
Lump in neck & fatigue
Treatment:
4 cycles of ABVE-PC chemo
...
Breast Cancer Stories: Invasive & Lobular, Stage 3A,  ER+ | Tina’s Story
Tina C., Ductal & Lobular Carcinoma in Situ, Stage 3A, ER+



Cancer details: Both ductal and lobular, estrogen receptor positive. Different than breast cancer Tina’s mom was diagnosed w/ twice.
1st Symptoms: Sunken in nipple of right breast
Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 | Margaret’s Story

Margaret A., IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. DCIS means cancer has not spread into surrounding breast tissue
1st Symptoms: Pain in left breast, left nipple inverting
Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemo (AC-T), Radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Story: IDC, TNBC (Triple Negative), Stage 2B, Relapse, Stage 4 | Erin’s Story

Erin C., IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2B/4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Pain in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 3, Grade 3, Triple Negative (TNBC), BRCA1+ | Stephanie’s  Story

Stephanie J., Stage 3, Triple Negative, BRCA1+



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, TNBC, Pregnant with Cancer | Melissa’s Story

Melissa H., Stage 2B, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Mastectomy, chemotherapy, 2nd mastectomy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Triple +, Stage 3 | Stefanie’s Story

Stefanie H., IDC, Triple Positive, Stage 3



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, lumpectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, Soft Tissue Sarcoma as 2nd Cancer | Monica’s Story

Monica H., IDC, Stage 2B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Tightness and lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+ | Callie’s Story

Callie M., IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+



Cancer Details: ER positive = estrogen receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Dimpling/lump found on breast
Treatment:
Mastectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, hysterectomy, reconstruction
...
Breast Cancer Stories: Triple Negative (TNBC), IDC,Stage 2, Grade 3, BRCA1+ | Joy’s Story

Joy R., IDC, Stage 2, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Chemo, double mastectomy, hysterectomy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, ER+, PR+| Caitlin’s Story

Caitlin J., IDC, Stage 2B, ER/PR Positive



Cancer Details: ER/PR positive = estrogen and progesterone receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Lump found on breast
Treatment:
Lumpectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy (Lupron and Anastrozole)
...
Breast Cancer Stories: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), Stage 1B | Rachel’s Story

Rachel Y., IDC, Stage 1B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Stage 1B.
1st Symptoms: None, caught by delayed mammogram
Treatment: Double mastectomy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, hormone therapy Tamoxifen
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 1, ER+, PR+, HER2- | Amelia’s Story

Amelia L., IDC, Stage 1, ER/PR+, HER2-



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump found during self breast exam
Treatment: TC chemotherapy; lumpectomy, double mastectomy, reconstruction; Tamoxifen
...
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Primary Mediastinal B-Cell (PMBCL), Stage 2

Crystal Z., Primary Mediastinal (PMBCL), Stage 2



1st Symptoms: Chest pain
Treatment: 6 cycles of R-CHOP chemotherapy
...
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Primary Mediastinal (PMBCL)

Arielle R., Primary Mediastinal (PMBCL)



1st Symptoms: Swollen neck lymph nodes, fever, appetite loss, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, coughing, itchy skin, trouble breathing
Treatment: R-EPOCH (dose-adjusted) chemotherapy, 6 cycles
...
Eloxatin (oxaliplatin)

Cancers commonly treated: Colorectal

Metastatic Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 4, Recurrence | Lee’s Story

Lee J., Colon Cancer, Stage 4, Recurrence



Cancer Details: Recurrence then remission
1st Symptoms: Discovered stage 4 cancer from unrelated CT scan
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemo (FOLFOX), hemicolectomy (partial colon surgery), adjuvant chemo (FOLFOX), chemo post-recurrence (FOLFIRI), liver surgery
...
Rectal Cancer Stories: Adenocarcinoma, Stage 3B to Stage 4, Lynch Syndrome | Jackie’s Story

Jackie S., Rectal Adenocarcinoma, Stage 3B, Lynch Syndrome



Cancer Details: Rectal adenocarcinoma; 98% of rectal and colon cancers are adenocarcinomas
1st Symptoms: Blood in stool, constipation
Treatment: Chemo, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy
...
Rectal Cancer Stories: Adenocarcinoma, Stage 3, Colorectal | Catherine’s  Story

Catherine P., Rectal Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Rectal adenocarcinoma; 98% of rectal and colon cancers are adenocarcinomas
1st Symptoms: Rectal bleeding, constipation, bloating
Treatment: Fertility treatments, chemo, radiation, tumor resection surgery
...
Metastatic Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 4, Relapse, Colorectal | Lindsay’s Story

Lindsay D., Colon Cancer, Stage 4



Cancer Details: Diagnosed at 32, cancer spread to ovary and lung
1st Symptoms: Lump in pelvic area, funny-smelling food, weight loss
Treatment: Chemotherapy, colectomy (surgery)
...
Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 3, Colorectal | Barbara’s Story

Barbara M., Colon Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Family history wasn’t flagged, should have had colonoscopy earlier
1st Symptoms: Stomach discomfort, difficult to process food
Treatment: Colectomy, Chemo (FOLFOX, CAPOX)
...
Etoposide

Cancers commonly treated:

Testicular Cancer Stories: Embryonal Carcinoma, Non-Seminoma, Stage 2B | Hugo Toovey

Hugo T., Non-Seminoma, Stage 2B



Age at Diagnosis: 21
1st Symptoms:
Pea-sized lump on right testicle
Treatment: Surgical removal of right testicle, lymph node resection, chemotherapy

...
Testicular Cancer Stories: Non-Seminoma Germ Cell, Stage 3C

Steve L., Non-Seminoma, Stage 4



Age at Diagnosis: 25
1st Symptoms:
Grape-sized tumor on neck; hip and pelvis pain; ultrasound revealed tumor on right testicle
Treatment:
Chemotherapy (BEP), removal of right testicle, lymph node resection (RPLND), and tumor dissection in the neck
...
Sarcoma Stories: Ewing Sarcoma, Stage 1B | Brandi’s Story

Brandi B.,
Ewing Sarcoma,
Stage 1B (Soft Tissue)




Cancer Details: Adult case of soft tissue Ewing sarcoma, not bone sarcoma
1st Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, lump in pelvic area
Treatment: 17 cycles of chemotherapy in-patient at hospital with (leg-sparing) surgery in between
...
Rare Cancers: Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, Grade 3 | Caroline’s Story

Caroline Chisolm, Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, Grade 3



Cancer Details: As a result of a molar pregnancy
1st Symptoms:
Morning sickness and an unusually high beta hCG
Treatment:
EMACO chemotherapy
...
Rare Cancers: Neuroendocrine Tumor, Stage 4 | Jennifer’s Story

Jennifer Petersen, Neuroendocrine Tumor, Stage IV



Cancer details: Unknown site of origin, metastasis
1st Symptoms: Pain in upper back
Treatment: Chemotherapy, immunotherapy
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 3, Relapse | Tylere’s Story

Tylere P., Hodgkin, Stage 3



Cancer details: Mother is a nurse practitioner; suspected cancer
1st Symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes in neck
Treatment: Clinical trial; Chemotherapy, BMT
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Classical, Stage 2BX | Stephanie’s Story

Stephanie O., Hodgkin's, Stage 2B



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough
Treatment: Stanford V chemotherapy (12 weeks, 1 infusion each week), radiation (20 days)
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2BX, Relapse | Fabiola’s Patient Story

Fabiola L., Hodgkin's, Stage 2BX



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease, relapsed after 1st chemo. Remission after 2nd chemo & bone marrow transplant
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue
Treatment: ABVD chemo (6 cycles), IGEV chemo, bone marrow transplant, BEAM chemo, brentuximab
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2A, Adolescent (AYA) Cancer | Logan’s Patient Story

Logan A., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A



Cancer details: Diagnosed at age 15
1st Symptoms:
Lump in neck & fatigue
Treatment:
4 cycles of ABVE-PC chemo
...
FOLFOX

Cancer details: Folinic acid, fluorouracil, oxaliplatin

Cancers commonly treated: Colorectal

Colon Cancer Stoies: Stage 3B, Colorectal | Shelley’s Story

Shelley B., Colon Cancer, Stage 3B



Cancer Details: Had no usual first symptoms, found as a result of routine colonoscopy and endoscopy
1st Symptoms: None
Treatment:Partial colectomy, chemotherapy (FOLFOX)
...
Metastatic Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 4, Recurrence | Lee’s Story

Lee J., Colon Cancer, Stage 4, Recurrence



Cancer Details: Recurrence then remission
1st Symptoms: Discovered stage 4 cancer from unrelated CT scan
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemo (FOLFOX), hemicolectomy (partial colon surgery), adjuvant chemo (FOLFOX), chemo post-recurrence (FOLFIRI), liver surgery
...
Rectal Cancer Stories: Stage 3, Colorectal Cancer | Joanna’s Story

Joanna H., Rectal Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Rectal adenocarcinoma



1st symptoms: Rectal bleeding, bloating, stomach aches



Treatment: FOLFOX chemo, radiation
...
Rectal Cancer Stories: Stage 3A, Colorectal | Jelena’s Story

Jelena T., Rectal Cancer, Stage 3A



Cancer Details: 7cm mass found
1st Symptoms: Gas changes, rectal bleeding
Treatment: Chemo, radiation, surgery for tumor removal, ileostomy reversal
...
Metastatic Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 4, Relapse, Colorectal | Lindsay’s Story

Lindsay D., Colon Cancer, Stage 4



Cancer Details: Diagnosed at 32, cancer spread to ovary and lung
1st Symptoms: Lump in pelvic area, funny-smelling food, weight loss
Treatment: Chemotherapy, colectomy (surgery)
...
Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 3, Colorectal | Barbara’s Story

Barbara M., Colon Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Family history wasn’t flagged, should have had colonoscopy earlier
1st Symptoms: Stomach discomfort, difficult to process food
Treatment: Colectomy, Chemo (FOLFOX, CAPOX)
...
Fluorouracil (5FU)

Cancers commonly treated:

Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, TNBC, Pregnant with Cancer | Melissa’s Story

Melissa H., Stage 2B, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Mastectomy, chemotherapy, 2nd mastectomy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Rectal Cancer Stories: Adenocarcinoma, Stage 3B to Stage 4, Lynch Syndrome | Jackie’s Story

Jackie S., Rectal Adenocarcinoma, Stage 3B, Lynch Syndrome



Cancer Details: Rectal adenocarcinoma; 98% of rectal and colon cancers are adenocarcinomas
1st Symptoms: Blood in stool, constipation
Treatment: Chemo, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy
...
Metastatic Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 4, Recurrence | Lee’s Story

Lee J., Colon Cancer, Stage 4, Recurrence



Cancer Details: Recurrence then remission
1st Symptoms: Discovered stage 4 cancer from unrelated CT scan
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemo (FOLFOX), hemicolectomy (partial colon surgery), adjuvant chemo (FOLFOX), chemo post-recurrence (FOLFIRI), liver surgery
...
Gemzar (gemcitabine)

Cancers commonly treated:

Sarcoma Stories: Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Stage 3, Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma

Nicole B., Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma, Stage 3



Cancer Details: <5% of adult sarcomas
1st Symptoms: severe intolerance to food, nausea
Treatment: Cholecystectomy, Chemo (Gemcitabine and Taxotere), Whipple surgery
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 3A, Refractory to Gray Zone Lymphoma | Kayla’s Story

Kayla T., Hodgkin's, Stage 3A



Cancer details: Possibly misdiagnosed the first time; later diagnosed as grey zone lymphoma
1st Symptoms: Pulled muscle in chest
Treatment: ABVD chemo, radiation, high-dose chemo, stem cell transplant
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2BX, Relapse | Fabiola’s Patient Story

Fabiola L., Hodgkin's, Stage 2BX



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease, relapsed after 1st chemo. Remission after 2nd chemo & bone marrow transplant
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue
Treatment: ABVD chemo (6 cycles), IGEV chemo, bone marrow transplant, BEAM chemo, brentuximab
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Story: IDC, TNBC (Triple Negative), Stage 2B, Relapse, Stage 4 | Erin’s Story

Erin C., IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2B/4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Pain in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
...
Herceptin (trastuzumab)

Cancers commonly treated:

Breast Cancer Oncologist: HER2, Estrogen+, Triple Negative | Dr. Doug Blayney, Stanford

Dr. Doug Blayney, Breast Cancer Specialist



Oncologist: Specializing in breast cancer | HER2, Estrogen+, Triple Negative, Lumpectomy vs. Mastectomy
Experience: 30+ years
Hospital/clinic size: Large teaching institution
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 4, Triple Positive | Shari’s Story

Shari S., Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, HER2+, Stage 3, Relapse, Stage 4 | Renee’s Story

Renee N., IDC, Stage 3, HER2+



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 3, HER2+ | Genoa’s Story

Genoa M., Stage 2, HER2-Positive



Cancer details: HER2-positive tends to be more aggressive than HER2-negative cases
1st Symptoms: Nausea
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2A,Triple+ | Doreen’s Story

Doreen D., IDC, Stage 2A, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (TCHP), lumpectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Triple +, Stage 3 | Stefanie’s Story

Stefanie H., IDC, Triple Positive, Stage 3



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, lumpectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories:  IDC, Stage 2, Triple Positive (Triple+) | Rach’s Story

Rach D., IDC, Stage 2, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in right breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, double mastectomy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy
...
Idamycin (idarubicin)

Cancers commonly treated: Leukemia

Leukemia Stories: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) | Nicole’s Story

Nicole T., Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)



1st symptoms: Severe itchiness, night sweats, fatigue
Treatment: Chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant
...
Leukemia Stories: Acute Monocytic Leukemia, AML M5 | Hayley’s Story

Hayley A., Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), M5



Cancer details: Most common type of acute leukemia in adults
1st symptoms: Severe fatigue and excessive bleeding after oral surgery
Treatment: Chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant
...
Melphalan

Cancers commonly treated:

Multiple Myeloma Stories: Active Myeloma, Stage 3 | Jude’s Patient Story

Jude A., Multiple Myeloma, Stage 3



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, stage 3
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Pain in back, hips and ribs; difficulty walking
Treatment:
Bilateral femoral osteotomy, reversal due to infection; chemotherapy
...
Multiple Myeloma Stories: Light Chain, Stage 2 | Carlos’ Patient Story

Carlos C., Light Chain Multiple Myeloma



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, light chain
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Back pain and spasms
Treatment:
Back surgery to fuse T1 and T2, chemotherapy (RVD) and stem cell transplant
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2BX, Relapse | Fabiola’s Patient Story

Fabiola L., Hodgkin's, Stage 2BX



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease, relapsed after 1st chemo. Remission after 2nd chemo & bone marrow transplant
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue
Treatment: ABVD chemo (6 cycles), IGEV chemo, bone marrow transplant, BEAM chemo, brentuximab
...
Methotrexate

Cancers commonly treated:

Mantle Cell Lymphoma Stories: Stage 4, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma| Sheryl’s Story

Sheryl B., Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL), Stage 4



1st Symptoms: (Over 15 years) Skin irritation from temperature changes, rising WBC levels, unexplained fatigue, retinal hemorrhage, hardened abdomen (from enlarged spleen)
Treatment: 6 cycles Hyper-CVAD chemotherapy
...
Sarcoma Stories: Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Desmoid Tumor, Stage 4, AYA Cancer

Alicia B., Desmoid Tumor, Stage 4



Cancer details: Rare, <3% of all soft tissue tumors, more common in women
1st Symptoms: lump found in right armpit
Treatment: Chemo, radiation, targeted therapy, clinical trials, surgery, including forequarter amputation
...
Sarcoma Stories: Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Desmoid Tumor | Ashley’s Patient Story

Ashley W., Desmoid Tumor



Cancer details: Rare, <3% of all soft tissue tumors, more common in women
1st Symptoms: leg tightness, increased swelling in leg
Treatment: Chemo infusion (Methotrexate, Navelbene), oral chemo (Nexovar)
...
Rare Cancers: Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, Grade 3 | Caroline’s Story

Caroline Chisolm, Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, Grade 3



Cancer Details: As a result of a molar pregnancy
1st Symptoms:
Morning sickness and an unusually high beta hCG
Treatment:
EMACO chemotherapy
...
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4

Emily G., Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4



1st Symptoms: Pain in left knee
Treatment: R-CHOP chemo (6 cycles), high-dose methotrexate chemo (3 cycles)
...
Navelbine (vinorelbine)

Cancers commonly treated: Lung

Sarcoma Stories: Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Desmoid Tumor | Ashley’s Patient Story

Ashley W., Desmoid Tumor



Cancer details: Rare, <3% of all soft tissue tumors, more common in women
1st Symptoms: leg tightness, increased swelling in leg
Treatment: Chemo infusion (Methotrexate, Navelbene), oral chemo (Nexovar)
...
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stories: Stage 2BX, Relapse | Fabiola’s Patient Story

Fabiola L., Hodgkin's, Stage 2BX



Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease, relapsed after 1st chemo. Remission after 2nd chemo & bone marrow transplant
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue
Treatment: ABVD chemo (6 cycles), IGEV chemo, bone marrow transplant, BEAM chemo, brentuximab
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Oncovin (vincristine)

Cancers commonly treated:

No shortCode found

Perjeta (pertuzumab)

Cancers commonly treated: Breast, HER2-Positive. Usually administered alongside other chemo drugs.

→ TCHP chemotherapy regimen

Breast Cancer Oncologist: HER2, Estrogen+, Triple Negative | Dr. Doug Blayney, Stanford

Dr. Doug Blayney, Breast Cancer Specialist



Oncologist: Specializing in breast cancer | HER2, Estrogen+, Triple Negative, Lumpectomy vs. Mastectomy
Experience: 30+ years
Hospital/clinic size: Large teaching institution
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2A,Triple+ | Doreen’s Story

Doreen D., IDC, Stage 2A, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (TCHP), lumpectomy, radiation
...
Platinol (cisplatin)

Cancers commonly treated:

Lung Cancer Stories: Non-Small Cell, 3A & White Ribbon Project | Heidi’s Story

Heidi N., Non-Small Cell, Stage 3A



Cancer details: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
1st Symptoms: None, unrelated chest CT scan revealed lung mass & enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes
Treatment: Chemoradiation
...
Lung Cancer Stories: Stage 3A, KRAS+, Recurrence | Terri Conneran

Terri C., Non-Small Cell, KRAS+, Stage 3A



Cancer details: KRAS-positive, 3 recurrences → NED
1st Symptoms: Respiratory problems
Treatment: Chemo (Cisplatin & Alimta), surgery (lobectomy), chemo, microwave ablation, 15 rounds of SBRT radiation (twice)
...
Testicular Cancer Stories: Embryonal Carcinoma, Non-Seminoma, Stage 2B | Hugo Toovey

Hugo T., Non-Seminoma, Stage 2B



Age at Diagnosis: 21
1st Symptoms:
Pea-sized lump on right testicle
Treatment: Surgical removal of right testicle, lymph node resection, chemotherapy

...
Testicular Cancer Stories: Non-Seminoma Germ Cell, Stage 3C

Steve L., Non-Seminoma, Stage 4



Age at Diagnosis: 25
1st Symptoms:
Grape-sized tumor on neck; hip and pelvis pain; ultrasound revealed tumor on right testicle
Treatment:
Chemotherapy (BEP), removal of right testicle, lymph node resection (RPLND), and tumor dissection in the neck
...
Rare Cancers: Neuroendocrine Tumor, Stage 4 | Jennifer’s Story

Jennifer Petersen, Neuroendocrine Tumor, Stage IV



Cancer details: Unknown site of origin, metastasis
1st Symptoms: Pain in upper back
Treatment: Chemotherapy, immunotherapy
...
Lung Cancer Stories: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), ROS1+, Stage 4 | Lisa’s Story

Lisa G., Non-Small Cell, ROS1+, Stage 4 (Metastatic)



Cancer Details: ROS1+ tends to be aggressive. It can spread to the brain and to the bones.
1st Symptoms: Persistent cough (months), coughing a little blood, high fever, night sweats
Treatment: Chemo (4 cycles), maintenance chemo (4 cycles)
...
Metastatic Cervical Cancer Stories: Squamous Cell, Stage 4B | Brittany’s Story

Brittany W., Squamous Cell, Stage 4B



1st Symptoms: Spotting after sex, eventual significant bleeding at random
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Cisplatin) concurrent with radiation, 6 rounds adjuvant chemo, 2nd round radiation, immunotherapy trial, targeted therapy
...
Cervical Cancer Stories: Squamous Cell, Stage 3B | Marissa’s Story

Marissa, Squamous, Stage 3B



1st Symptoms: Excessive and prolonged vaginal bleeding
Treatment:
Chemotherapy (Cisplatin), radiation, brachytherapy
...
Cervical Cancer Stories: Squamous Cell, Stage 1B1 | Mila’s Story

Mila L., Squamous, Stage 1B



1st Symptoms: Abnormal lump in cervix area, bleeding after sex
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Cisplatin), radiation, adjuvant chemotherapy (Carboplatin + Paclitaxel
...
R-EPOCH

Complete overview of R-EPOCH

  • R – Rituximab
  • E – Etoposide Phosphate
  • P – Prednisone
  • O – Vincristine Sulfate (Oncovin)
  • C – Cyclophosphamide
  • H – Doxorubicin Hydrochloride (Hydroxydaunorubicin)
Taxol (paclitaxel)

Cancers commonly treated:

Ovarian Cancer Stories: High-Grade Serous, Stage 1C | Randalynn’s Story

Randalynn V., High-Grade, Stage 1C



Cancer details:Account for up to 70% of cases
1st Symptoms:Pulling sensation when emptying bladder; abdominal pain
Treatment:Chemotherapy (Carboplatin & Paclitaxel) & surgery
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: High-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 3C, BRCA1+ | Shirley’s Story

Shirley P., High-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 3C, BRCA1+



Cancer details:Account for up to 70% of cases
1st Symptoms:Pulling sensation when emptying bladder; abdominal pain
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Carboplatin & Taxol), de-bulking surgery & PARP inhibitors
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: Low Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 4B | Cheyann Shaw

Cheyann S., Low-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Stage 4B



Cancer details: Makes up approximately 10% of cases of serous ovarian cancer.
1st Symptoms:
Stomach pain, constipation, lump on right side above pubic area
Treatments:
Cancer debulking surgery, chemotherapy (Carboplatin & Taxol, then Doxil & Avastin)
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: Low Grade Serous, Stage 3C | Alisa’s Story

Alisa M., Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer



Cancer details:Makes up approximately 10% of cases of serous ovarian cancer
1st Symptoms:Occasional rectal pain, acid reflux, bloating, night sweats
Treatment: Debulking surgies, chemotherapy, immunotherapy
...
Ovarian Cancer Stories: Epithelial, Stage 2C & Uterine Cancer, Stage 1A | Heather’s Story

Heather M., Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Stage 2



Cancer Details: Also diagnosed w/uterine cancer 1A same time.
1st Symptoms: Extreme bloating, pinching pain in right side of abdomen, extreme fatigue
Treatment: Surgery (total hysterectomy), chemo (Taxol once a week for 18 week, Carboplatin every 3 weeks), concurrent clinical trial (Avastin) every 3 weeks
...
Metastatic Cervical Cancer Stories: Squamous Cell, Stage 4B | Brittany’s Story

Brittany W., Squamous Cell, Stage 4B



1st Symptoms: Spotting after sex, eventual significant bleeding at random
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Cisplatin) concurrent with radiation, 6 rounds adjuvant chemo, 2nd round radiation, immunotherapy trial, targeted therapy
...
Cervical Cancer Stories: Squamous Cell, Stage 1B1 | Mila’s Story

Mila L., Squamous, Stage 1B



1st Symptoms: Abnormal lump in cervix area, bleeding after sex
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Cisplatin), radiation, adjuvant chemotherapy (Carboplatin + Paclitaxel
...
Breast Cancer Stories: Invasive & Lobular, Stage 3A,  ER+ | Tina’s Story
Tina C., Ductal & Lobular Carcinoma in Situ, Stage 3A, ER+



Cancer details: Both ductal and lobular, estrogen receptor positive. Different than breast cancer Tina’s mom was diagnosed w/ twice.
1st Symptoms: Sunken in nipple of right breast
Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 | Margaret’s Story

Margaret A., IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. DCIS means cancer has not spread into surrounding breast tissue
1st Symptoms: Pain in left breast, left nipple inverting
Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemo (AC-T), Radiation
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Story: IDC, TNBC (Triple Negative), Stage 2B, Relapse, Stage 4 | Erin’s Story

Erin C., IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2B/4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Pain in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, HER2+, Stage 3, Relapse, Stage 4 | Renee’s Story

Renee N., IDC, Stage 3, HER2+



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 3, Grade 3, Triple Negative (TNBC), BRCA1+ | Stephanie’s  Story

Stephanie J., Stage 3, Triple Negative, BRCA1+



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery
...
Breast Cancer Story: Pregnant with Cancer, IDC, Stage 2B to Stage 3 | Andrea’s Story

Andrea A., IDC, Stage 2B/3, ER+



Cancer details: Found cancer while pregnant
1st Symptoms: Divot in breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Triple +, Stage 3 | Stefanie’s Story

Stefanie H., IDC, Triple Positive, Stage 3



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, lumpectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, Soft Tissue Sarcoma as 2nd Cancer | Monica’s Story

Monica H., IDC, Stage 2B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Tightness and lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+ | Callie’s Story

Callie M., IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+



Cancer Details: ER positive = estrogen receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Dimpling/lump found on breast
Treatment:
Mastectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, hysterectomy, reconstruction
...
Breast Cancer Stories: Triple Negative (TNBC), IDC,Stage 2, Grade 3, BRCA1+ | Joy’s Story

Joy R., IDC, Stage 2, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Chemo, double mastectomy, hysterectomy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2B, ER+, PR+| Caitlin’s Story

Caitlin J., IDC, Stage 2B, ER/PR Positive



Cancer Details: ER/PR positive = estrogen and progesterone receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Lump found on breast
Treatment:
Lumpectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy (Lupron and Anastrozole)
...
Breast Cancer Stories: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), Stage 1B | Rachel’s Story

Rachel Y., IDC, Stage 1B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Stage 1B.
1st Symptoms: None, caught by delayed mammogram
Treatment: Double mastectomy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, hormone therapy Tamoxifen
...
Taxotere (docetaxel)

Cancers commonly treated:

Sarcoma Stories: Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Stage 3, Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma

Nicole B., Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma, Stage 3



Cancer Details: <5% of adult sarcomas
1st Symptoms: severe intolerance to food, nausea
Treatment: Cholecystectomy, Chemo (Gemcitabine and Taxotere), Whipple surgery
...
Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 4, Triple Positive | Shari’s Story

Shari S., Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 3, HER2+ | Genoa’s Story

Genoa M., Stage 2, HER2-Positive



Cancer details: HER2-positive tends to be more aggressive than HER2-negative cases
1st Symptoms: Nausea
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2A,Triple+ | Doreen’s Story

Doreen D., IDC, Stage 2A, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (TCHP), lumpectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 1, ER+, PR+, HER2- | Amelia’s Story

Amelia L., IDC, Stage 1, ER/PR+, HER2-



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump found during self breast exam
Treatment: TC chemotherapy; lumpectomy, double mastectomy, reconstruction; Tamoxifen
...
TCHP (Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin, Perjeta)

Cancer details:

Complete overview of TCHP

  • – Taxotere® (docetaxel)
  • – Carboplatin
  • – Herceptin® (trastuzumab)
  • – Perjeta® (Pertuzumab)

Cancers commonly treated: Breast (early-stage)

Breast Cancer Stories: DCIS, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive, Grade 2, Relapse Twice | Alison’s Story

Alison R., Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy
...
Breast Cancer Stories: IDC, Stage 2A,Triple+ | Doreen’s Story

Doreen D., IDC, Stage 2A, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (TCHP), lumpectomy, radiation
...
Breast Cancer Stories:  IDC, Stage 2, Triple Positive (Triple+) | Rach’s Story

Rach D., IDC, Stage 2, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in right breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, double mastectomy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy
...
Xeloda (capecitabine)

Cancers commonly treated:

Colorectal Cancer Stories: Stage 2C | Allison’s Story

Allison R., Colorectal Cancer, Stage 2C



Age at Diagnosis: 32
1st Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss, blood in stool, "blockage" feeling after eating
Treatment: Concurrent adjuvant (oral) chemotherapy + radiation, colectomy, oral chemotherapy
...
Rectal Cancer Stories: Stage 3A, Colorectal | Jelena’s Story

Jelena T., Rectal Cancer, Stage 3A



Cancer Details: 7cm mass found
1st Symptoms: Gas changes, rectal bleeding
Treatment: Chemo, radiation, surgery for tumor removal, ileostomy reversal
...
Rectal Cancer Stories: Adenocarcinoma, Stage 3, Colorectal | Catherine’s  Story

Catherine P., Rectal Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Rectal adenocarcinoma; 98% of rectal and colon cancers are adenocarcinomas
1st Symptoms: Rectal bleeding, constipation, bloating
Treatment: Fertility treatments, chemo, radiation, tumor resection surgery
...
Metastatic Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 4, Relapse, Colorectal | Lindsay’s Story

Lindsay D., Colon Cancer, Stage 4



Cancer Details: Diagnosed at 32, cancer spread to ovary and lung
1st Symptoms: Lump in pelvic area, funny-smelling food, weight loss
Treatment: Chemotherapy, colectomy (surgery)
...
Colon Cancer Stories: Stage 3, Colorectal | Barbara’s Story

Barbara M., Colon Cancer, Stage 3



Cancer Details: Family history wasn’t flagged, should have had colonoscopy earlier
1st Symptoms: Stomach discomfort, difficult to process food
Treatment: Colectomy, Chemo (FOLFOX, CAPOX)
...

References

  1. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/chemotherapy-and-you.pdf
  2. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/chemotherapy