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Stage 4 lung cancer


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Hello, I am new to this forum. I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in December 2015. Tested positive for EGFR but my oncologist started me on chemo with caboplatin and alimta. After three treatments, CT result was great but after six treatments CT show that cancer has progressed. Doctor is taking me of chemo and put me on Tarceva. I'm have not take it yet because they are in the process of getting the drug to me.


I'm not sure on how to take Tarceva. Doctor hasn't really explain or provide any information. My question is, when I get the prescription, do I just take it as directed on the bottle or do I need to consult with my doctor. I'm nervous. Any help or information would be appreciated.

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Tarceva is a pill form of chemotherapy.  Your doctor should tell you when and how it's taken as well as any side effects. My husband had a rash from it which is common but can be treated.  Never hesitate to ask your doctor LOT"S of questions.  That is indeed their job.  


I'm sure others will follow with more information for you.  Please keep us updated.  ((hugs))

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I had my course of Tarceva in 2007 and things may have changed in the interim.  I was given a script from my oncologist and received my first 30 day supply from a pharmacy.  Renewals were obtained from a mail-in pharmacy because they offered a significant reduction in cost.  The drug came with a detailed instruction and information sheet that specified when the drug was to be taken and included a complete explanation of side effects.  My oncologist further told me to call his nurse if I experienced any discomfort or unusual symptoms from the drug.  I did in fact call and they were most helpful.


My side effects included "a rash" - in my case a severe case of acne on my head, face and neck and digestive system "discomfort".  I received further prescriptions from my oncologist to combat these side effects but they persisted for the extent I took the drug: about 6 months.  


Tarceva didn't work for me.  When I took it, doctors didn't know about tumor cell mutations that Tarceva attacks.  There was no genetic marker tumor testing in the early Tarceva years.  That said, I've known many cancer survivors who took Tarceva and the drug effectively attacked their cancer, and in one case, experienced no side effects whatsoever.  One lady took Tarceva for 10 years without any cancer progression.  She passed away in her sleep, not from cancer, but from a heart attack.  She was 76 years old on passing.


So Tarceva can work.  Detailed instructions on taking it are included with the prescription as well as information on possible side effects.  This is one prescription you should read every word of the information that accompanies the drug. Moreover, Tarceva is an oral chemotherapy drug and you will still be under the care of an oncologist while taking it.  Don't hesitate to call the practice office if you experience adverse or uncomfortable side effects.


Stay the course.



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