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non small cell EFGR tarceva stage 4


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hello everyone, I am 65 year old male living in Ireland. I was diagnosed with stage 4 non small cell in June 2018.  I was diagnosed  in June 2018 and was placed on Tarceva 150 mgs daily. I have fond the contributions here very interesting and informative.

The cancer had spread to my liver and backbone I got the skin rash  within days . I was placed on minisol twice daily by the team and an antihistomine  for the intense itch. I have been into s[port all my life and went back to walking on my treadmill and a sedate form of yoga. Following a medical review in August I increased the exercise level to speed up my metabolism to get rid of the various substances from my body. I felt I was improving a lot and in a ct scan at the start October the consultant told me the cancer in my lung had reduced about 25 per cent with a reduction of around 15 per cent in liver and 10 per cent in backbone

I have found exercise and a high fibre diet to be very helpful and I attend cancer support twice a week for stress management My hair is very fine, and I have hives and an itch from time to time. I didnt get the diahoriea and seem to have avoided other side effects at least for the time being

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Hi Patrick,

It's great to hear that Tarceva is shrinking your lung cancer! My mom is taking Keytruda and has very itchy skin as well.  She does take benedryl at night when she needs a good night's rest, but she's also found a couple of other things that help: She uses an oatmeal based lotion and body wash.  The brand that she uses here is called Aveeno.  She also uses the same brand of cream for excema.  This cream gives her about an hour or so relief when she is really itchy.  Maybe that is something that might help your itch without adding additional drugs/chemicals.  Hopefully the other side effects stay away!

Take Care,


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Welcome Patrick,

When Tarceva works, it works very well indeed.  I took it but it was in the early days of targeted therapy (2003) and doctors didn't completely understand that the drug only worked for a small population of adenocarcinoma patients.  My non small cell lung cancer subtype was Squamous cell. So I suffered the side effects without any benefit.

But I know many who take the drug daily and it checks or reduces tumors.  More importantly, it stops the spreading of the disease.  But, the itch and acne for me was a troubling side effect. I can't remember what my doctors gave me to reduce that symptom but it did little to stop it.  Steff's idea of an oatmeal-based lotion is one I've heard of from other survivors.

I hope Tarceva continues to consume your cancer.

Stay the course.


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Hi Patrick and welcome,

I'm glad to hear that the Tarceva is working for you and I hope Steff's suggestions on itch are helpful. Please stay in touch and let us know how we can support you.

Bridget O

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