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Hi my name is Alma


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I have Non small cell carcinoma lung cancer going on now for over 3 years - I couldn't handle the infusion anymore so Tarceva became available to me and I started taking it in December.  I am feeling much better with this drug just have a few issues with side effects.  The rash on my face isn't too bad - I have antibiotic pills and gel which keeps it down pretty good, but I did start loosing my hair and was concerned but I see that is common.  The hair on my face grows like crazy and it is 'kinky' it drives me crazy.  my eyebrows are growing with kinky hair too - it does appear like my eyelashes are growing but I did lose some there too - I hope they grow back but I read some ones post they go every which way.  Probably the worst is the dry skin.  It is terrible.  I have tried so many things and nothing works.  I am not trying fish oil to see if that works from the inside out.  Of course the diarrhea I don't think we can get away from that - I'm just annoyed I don't lose weight lol.  anyway all in all I am very happy with this drug it definitely beats the infusion which I was to be on the rest of my life.   I was ready to say I take my chances.

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Good morning, Alma.  Sounds like the Tarceva is giving you a run for your money but I'm happy to hear it is an option for you and that you have some help with the side effects.  Hang in there!

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Welcome here Alma!

Yes, I well understand the side effects of Tarceva.  I had it in conjunction with Taxol and Carboplatin infused chemotherapy back in the dark ages when doctors didn't really understand why Tarceva worked.  I have Squamous cell lung cancer and it is now known Tarceva does not attack that form of NSCLC.

I found no solution to skin problems.  Since I was also receiving infused Taxol and Carboplatin, strange hair growth was not a problem because I lost all my hair.  It did regrow normally after I stopped taking Tarceva and when my infused treatment was finished.

Diarrhea was the most troubling side effect.  It made life a nightmare and when I complained on a cancer forum in 2006, someone suggested I start each day with a plain bowl of steamed rice.  While Tarceva laughed at Imodium, it respected the rice.  So you might try that as a way of minimizing the impact of this bothersome side effect.

I hope your skin and digestive side effects moderate and that your treatment continues to be effective.

Stay the course.


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