Chemo and Crohn's

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Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/20/2010 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone with Crohn's been on chemo? Did chemo affect the Crohn's in anyway? Given your immune system is pretty much shot when on chemo, can one still have a flareup while on chemo?
Regular Member...Veteran Sufferer.

CD since Fall 1987
Small Bowel Cancer - Sept 2008
Surgery to remove tumor - Oct 1st, 2008
Chemo - Dec 2008 to May 2009
Jan 2010 - NED
March 2010 - Active CD and Fistula in Duodenum


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 3/20/2010 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
We did have a member, Mike, who was on chemo for lymphoma, and had a very hard time with his Crohn's because of it.

I think, though, it might depend on the type of chemo. There are some types of chemotherapy that are thought to be useful in treating autoimmune conditions, though, of course, the doses and regimens might be different for cancer vs Crohn's.

All the best to you,

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~


debilitated
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 448
   Posted 3/20/2010 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Well 6-mp and Methotrexate are types of Chemotherapy. A lot of members including myself are on "Low Dose" chemo therapy for Crohn's Disease.
Male, 22. Diagnosed with Crohn's officially since 2001.. Osteoporosis, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Anemia.

Medications Used: Remicade, Humira, Cimzia, 6-mp, Pentasa, Flagyl, Prednisone, Zifaxan, Entocort,
TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition), The whole nine.

Current: Methotrexate Injection, Entocort EC, Vitamin D, Fentanyl 25mcg / 72hrs - Zofran - Folic Acid
Currently On SSDI


PV
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 3/20/2010 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I think that certain types of cancer treatment can be hard. May not cause crohn's to flare up, but the issues are pretty much like crohn's. I don't think it is chemo, but radiation therapy can cause radiation colitis. I also remember a person from work who had a horrible time with a bacterial intestinal infection (which I later learned was c-diff) while he was going through chemo.

A friend's grandmother is doing maintenance chemo (for a tumor that will block her intestines if it is not shrunk with chemo periodically) and she suffers greatly with nausea after the chemo. I think in general chemo is very very rough to go through, and the side effects can feel like crohn's, even if it isn't a crohn's flare up.

I hope you are not asking because you have to get chemo, and that this is more a curiosity question. If that is not the case, I am so sorry you are having to face chemo, and I hope things will go as smoothly as possible for you. We're here if we can help answer your questions and keep your spirits up.

(((Hugs)))
PV
Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Crohn's in Remission since June 2008
C-diff recurrence Sep 2009
Reactive Arthritis Nov 2009
Currently c-diff free
Osteopenia of spine (Mar 2010)
Canasa (1gm), Lialda (4.8 gms), Remicade (8 weeks)
Currently In Remission


prof
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1195
   Posted 3/20/2010 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Brad... do you need chemo?  Hope not.  I had cancer 2 years ago  ( wow.. been that long seems like yestersay) but needed only radiation. The whole "cancer" thing make my crohns worse. I think that if you DO need chemo it is extremely important that your GI and oncologist work close together.  When I was first dx'd and didn"t know if I would need chemo or not, my GI and oncologst talked frequently.  Take care of YOU! and be sure to get some ensure in you to keeo your strenghth up!  Prof


Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/21/2010 7:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on chemo from Dec 08 to May 09. It was brutal on my bowels. It was FOLFOX, used for colon cancer. I had 11 treatments. I had small bowel cancer likely caused by 20+ years of chronic inflammation and scarring due to Crohn's. Surgery in the Fall of 08 removed the tumor but the chemo was needed to make sure the cancer wouldn't return. Prior chemo and post surgery, I had never felt better. But since chemo, I have not felt as good as I did prior chemo athough late last summer I felt pretty good minus rebuilding stamina. But I didn't feel quite right. This past fall was touch and go, and now I am off work with active Crohn's in my duodenum and a fistula there as well. In the 20+ years with CD, I never had to take sick leave due to Crohn's. What I feel now and have felt the past few months has been similar, very similar, to what I felt while on chemo. I suspect now I may have had a flareup during chemo making matters worse. But I'll never know.

I know that chemo can damage the bowel lining. How that plays into someone with Crohn's I am not sure.

It really sucks that I, as of now, am winning the battle with cancer as currently I am cancer-free. It was a rough go. But then Crohn's comes along and kicks me in the ass.

Thanks for the replies all
Regular Member...Veteran Sufferer.

CD since Fall 1987
Small Bowel Cancer - Sept 2008
Surgery to remove tumor - Oct 1st, 2008
Chemo - Dec 2008 to May 2009
Jan 2010 - NED
March 2010 - Active CD and Fistula in Duodenum


prof
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1195
   Posted 3/21/2010 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I know the feeling..... I keep asking for the big red bulls eye to be taken off my back! Good luck...


Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/21/2010 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
prof said...
I know the feeling..... I keep asking for the big red bulls eye to be taken off my back! Good luck...


What cancer did you have if you don't mind me asking.
Regular Member...Veteran Sufferer.

CD since Fall 1987
Small Bowel Cancer - Sept 2008
Surgery to remove tumor - Oct 1st, 2008
Chemo - Dec 2008 to May 2009
Jan 2010 - NED
March 2010 - Active CD and Fistula in Duodenum


prof
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1195
   Posted 3/21/2010 1:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I had breast cancer. My GI and oncologist were very concerned about me going thru chemo or a big surgery. i am very anemic and don't have iron storage. I had lost alot of weight during the process due to the crohns. I am sorry you had to go thru chemo. In that regard i was very lucky. But... as you know,. cancer sucks no matter what the situation is. As of today, I am still cancer free. Bu each test creates worry and anxiety.. again.. just what a chorhnnie needs!


Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/22/2010 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
prof said...
I had breast cancer. My GI and oncologist were very concerned about me going thru chemo or a big surgery. i am very anemic and don't have iron storage. I had lost alot of weight during the process due to the crohns. I am sorry you had to go thru chemo. In that regard i was very lucky. But... as you know,. cancer sucks no matter what the situation is. As of today, I am still cancer free. Bu each test creates worry and anxiety.. again.. just what a chorhnnie needs!


Good to hear you are winning the battle too. I was lucky as well, it could have been much worse and I don't understand how it wasn't!

AngieD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/6/2010 3:57 AM (GMT -7)   
At the present time I am undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer(ACT).  I have had Crohns Disease for well over 20 years, and this has made chemo even more challenging.  Couple that with an onocolist who did not consult with a gastroenterologist prior to my beginning treatment, and voila... my story!  It has been a trip, but I only have 6 more treatments to go.  I was hospitilized once with blockage and Cdiff.  Both were resolved, causing a little more than two week delay in treatment.  People with Crohns and cancer MUST take a very active role in treatment.  Nobody cares more about you or knows you better than yourself.  I have still not found the gastroenterologist who can partner well with me or the oncologist but I continue to work with what I have while searching.  Any advice will be welcomed. Nobody but those of us who experience this can possibly know the obstacles we face every day.  I have found Crohn's to be the zillion flies in the ointment of life!

LL in PA
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/20/2013 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I am currently undergoing chemo and have had Crohns since 1977 or so. I am experiencing watery stools (I normally have loose bowel movements) and my hemorrhoids have gotten worse. I also think I have a fissure and it seems like internal sphincter spasms after BMs. Can't sit lay or sleep without pain (mostly burning).

LL in PA
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/20/2013 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Brad P said...
Has anyone with Crohn's been on chemo? Did chemo affect the Crohn's in anyway? Given your immune system is pretty much shot when on chemo, can one still have a flareup while on chemo?



I am currently undergoing chemo and have had Crohns since 1977 or so. I am experiencing watery stools (I normally have loose bowel movements) and my hemorrhoids have gotten worse. I also think I have a fissure and it seems like internal sphincter spasms after BMs. Can't sit lay or sleep without pain (mostly burning).
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scifigal2k
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2649
   Posted 3/20/2013 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry for what all of you are going through. I really admire you. Cancer and CD are horrible enough on their own; I can't imagine what it would be like to suffer with both. My prayers are with all of you, and I sincerely hope that you are better soon. (((hugs)))
CD 2010, Fistula, Pancreatitis, C. Diff.
Current: Remicade
Previous: Prednisone, Imuran, and Asacol

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
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