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Pregnancy After Chemo For Colon Cancer (Page 1)

My questions are regarding pregnancy after treatment with 5fu for colon cancer.
What are the risks related to reoccurrance of tumor?
Is it the same as breast, ovarian, cervical, or lymph cancers for example?
Should we see a specialist ob/gyn regarding getting pregnant?
How long after treatment with 5fu should you wait to attempt pregnancy?

Basically any info would be helpful as there is very little written about this on any cancer sites. Thanks! Smile
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First Helper ablesclan
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replied June 8th, 2004
I Second Your Questions!
I too had treatment for colon cancer with 5fu. I asked my gynocologist (sp?) whether I needed to wait before trying to get pregnant, and she said not if I had regular menstration (which I did during the entire chemotherapy process). I forgot to ask my oncologist during my last office visit.

I would be interested in knowing what other doctors have said. My pcp said to check with the oncologist. :/ can't seem to find any definitive info online anywhere.

Thank you for sharing any insight you have! Cool
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replied June 8th, 2004
Pregnancy After Colon Cancer
I totally agree. The information about this is extremely limited and when I asked my oncologist, he just had no info for me. I was told to wait at least a year after treatment by two different sources, one a highly regarded university and the other my own oncologist. I think it was to let my body fully recover, but having a menstrual period was an indicator my body was on track. The problem continues to be that although this disease is striking people and women of childbearing age, there is no research etc on the effects of 5fu on fertility, and if there is, it is not accessible to the public. Let me know if you find anymore out yourself and I will post replies should I get info. Thanks for your reply! Smile
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replied June 8th, 2004
Some Info Found...
I found some info on a canadian site called "motherisk".

Http://www.Motherisk.Org/cforum/showforum. Php?Category=3

the 3rd question down is someone in the same situation. I'm not sure a fertility expert is really called for - I don't want to know if i'm infertile, I want to know whether *if* I get pregnant the baby would be at risk due to drugs still in my system.

With cancers being (thankfully) detected earlier and at younger ages, this is really getting to be a big deal.
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replied January 6th, 2005
Another One of Child Bearing Age?
I happen to be searching for information online re: pregnancy after colon cancer survival and treatment. I couldn't believe to see 2 of you discussing your history and I am assuming you are probably under 40 if you are considering pregancy. I, too am of childbearing age, 35. I have only met (thru the phone) one other young woman with this history. If either of you want to discuss anything, send me an e.
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replied January 6th, 2005
Yep, i'm 31 (was 29 when I had the resection, 30 when I started chemo). We're definately not the only ones out there. I am relieved that this didn't happen *after* I was pregnant or had kids! I can't imagine trying to be a mom during the chemo process. Ugh.

I just recently had my one-year-after-surgery followup colonoscopy, and everything apparently looked fine (i was so doped to the eyebrows that I don't really remember).

I do intend to ask my oncologist about pregnancy stuff when I see him in late feb/early march (i forget which...). However, I think that if the side effects are gone (ie. Hair's growing back, lips are healed, whatever...) then probably the drug is gone too. It's a great theory, right? Just give me a diploma and set me off with an office in the hospital, and i'm set!
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replied January 19th, 2005
Pregnancy And Chemo Follow-up
Hi ladies,
first off, congrats on your clean tests!!!! The first year is a big one!
Its sounds horrible, but its oddly comforting to find others experiencing what I first wrote about last year. I too have had a couple of follow-up colonoscopies (every year)and cat scans (every 6 mo) and luckily all has been ok for now. I do have a young child 3yrs old (20mo when I was diagnosed) and it was terribly terribly hard to care for him while undergoing the chemo. I managed to do it with the help of my wonderful husband. Unfortunately, every 6 mo is a wait and see for me. I consulted my ob/gyn (who is great!) and she very honestly told me that they just don't have info yet about the effects of 5fu/leukovorin on pregnancy and fertility. I worry about damage to the eggs more than anything.

I am 38 now (36at diagnosis) and fighting the clock regardless. I must admit we have not tried to conceive another child until I am further out of my treatments, but I wonder what effects the chemo had on my eggs. Happily, I do know of a few people who had much worse cancers and treatments than myself and they were able to have healthy happy children afterwards (even at older ages).

I wish we could push oncologists and/or ob/gyns to take up this subject for research but I get the feeling they are not interested or are afraid of what they will find. I am an rn and my husband is an md and even we feel lost at times. My best advice, reach out to others like you and ask questions, questions, questions.

I would be happy to talk to any of you as well via email :)
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replied July 24th, 2005
Pregnancy + Colon Cancer
Hello, my name is kate and I am living in australia and I have had successful surgery to remove the cancer from my colon and am about to start chemo next week. I have searched everywhere to find out about fertility afterwards, but there is not much information. Your letters are the closest I have come to finding out about this, I see that you wrote your letters in january - any relevant info since then ?
I already have a beautiful 16 month year old daughter, but had hoped one day to give her a sibling - hoping that will still all happen.
Any information on this would be so helpful
thanks
kate
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replied August 10th, 2005
Hi kate et al,

congrats on the successful surgery. I wrote in 7 months or so ago regarding my shock at these women in my age range with a similar diagnosis. I actually had a colorectal diagnosis nov 2003, had the surgery dec 2003 and one dose of 5fu late jan 2004. I had dpd deficiency (basically,an allergy to the drug) and so suffered with that allergy for 2 months. But, the upside for me was I didn't have to take the other 5 months of the drug. I believe that my surgery was a curative even with 2 nodes positve out of 21 removed. The nodes were encapsulated wiithin the lesion that was contained inside the bowel.


Now, reading your story, I am once again shocked even though intellectually I know there are others our age out there going through this. I can say one really positive thing about our age and this situation.....Its that we have youth on our side. Our bodies will be more readily able to regenerate and protect itself than the typical patient who receives this diagnosis (65-75 years old).

In reguard to fertility, my husband and I have just moved to az and are now trying to conceive. We've only been at it for a few months. I am going to the ob/gyn next month to have hormone levels checked. My period returned about 60 days after the drug administration and my cycles have been mostly regular since then. The only change I recognize (excuse the graphic nature) is that vaginal secretions are thinner and not as eggwhite-ish. This may reflect an issue or it may not. We'll just have to see. I am happy to keep you all updated on my (god willing) successful conception/pregnancy (at 35 years old) if you wish. Good luck on fertility and kate, keep your head and know you will be healthy and well very soon.

thanks,

heathar
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replied September 16th, 2005
Lost An Email
Hi,

someone who viewed this site sent me an email directly about 2-3 weeks ago. In the process of being out of town, I wasn''t able to respond right away and somehow the email was deleted. I have no way to contact this person. She wrote to me regarding her anal cancer and she was from north carolina. If you, the sender, see this , please email me again so I can send you back a note.


Thanks!


Heathar
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replied February 27th, 2006
Pregnancy And Colon Cancer
I too, have been through treatment for stage 2 colon cancer. In speaking with my ob and oncologist, they have both given me hope that another pregnancy is possible. If the menstrual cycle returns/continues during chemo then things look good for the future. If you have experienced signs of menopause before chemo, then you may experience early menopause. After spending 2 weeks in the hospital when my tumor was discovered, I have discussed this different times because, not only would I like to have more children, but my son was only 4 1/2 months old when all of this happened. We also discussed breast feeding and having to quit because of the 5fu and its easy transference into the milk. In november 2005, I finished treatments, and now am getting ready to have another surgery to resect my large intestine. Life, during chemo, was a struggle. I battled nausea, fatigue, and had lots of anxiety. It has gotten better. There is hope. I appreciated finding others out there with similar situations and problems. Hopefully we will all work together and find out info for all of us.
Good luck to all of you. Have a great day!!!
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replied March 16th, 2006
Trying to Get Pregnant, After Stage Iii Colon Cancer
I am trying to get preganant. I was diagnosed almost 6 years ago with stage iii colon cancer - 3 nodes positive (28 years old at the time). I also had the 5fu protocol. My oncologist said that chemo should not have affect my fertility. However, my surgeon has said that scar tissue from the surgery can cause problems getting pregnant. I have read that any type of abdominal surgery can affect fertility due to scar tissue surronding the ovaries and fallopian tubes. I have had to have one emergency surgery 2 years ago to remove scar tissue that had caused a blockage in my intestines. So, i'm worried that this may prevent us from having children. Anybody else have problems with scar tissue? Marilyn
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replied March 16th, 2006
Hi margaret,

great to hear you are fine after all that at such a young age. I had my surgery when I was 37 (almost 40 now) and so far I have not had any scarring problems. We had a 20month old at my diagnosis so we have waited until recently to try for another baby (fighting the bio clock too). I had a partial colectomy with no colostomy and with my subsequent colonoscopies (boy thats a tongue twister sentence, huh?), there have not been any adhesions. I would suppose that it all depended on the depth of your surgery into the abdominal cavity as to whether or not it would affect your fertility. Mine was lower large intestine and my surgeon actually entered through my old c-section scar. Good luck with your pregnancy attempts and keep us up to date on how you are doing!
-laura
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replied March 16th, 2006
Sorry about previous post- I meant marilyn, not margaret :)
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replied August 25th, 2006
Re: Trying to Get Pregnant, After Stage Iii Colon Cancer
Hi marilyn, I too have had an intestinal blockage due to adhesions after a partial colectomy (happenned right after the birth of our son 2 years ago) and now wondering whether the potential for another incident of blockage may be triggered by a pregnancy...I am scared of another blockage and want another child...Anything you find out please keep me posted
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replied August 31st, 2006
Colon Cancer Chemo Side Effects
Wow I was very surprised to see that you were 31 -- I am 36 recently diagnosed and wanted to know what side effects you experienced? Did you lose your cycle? (period). Thanks




nas151 wrote:
yep, i'm 31 (was 29 when I had the resection, 30 when I started chemo). We're definately not the only ones out there. I am relieved that this didn't happen *after* I was pregnant or had kids! I can't imagine trying to be a mom during the chemo process. Ugh.

I just recently had my one-year-after-surgery followup colonoscopy, and everything apparently looked fine (i was so doped to the eyebrows that I don't really remember).

I do intend to ask my oncologist about pregnancy stuff when I see him in late feb/early march (i forget which...). However, I think that if the side effects are gone (ie. Hair's growing back, lips are healed, whatever...) then probably the drug is gone too. It's a great theory, right? Just give me a diploma and set me off with an office in the hospital, and i'm set!
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replied April 15th, 2007
Your messages are so comforting! I too, have joined you all as a colon cancer patient and am heart-broken by my doctors' forecast that I will "almost certainly" experience early menopause and not be able to conceive or carry a fetus to term after the chemo and radiation regimen that will save my life and prevent further cancer in the pelvic area.

Like many of you, I am young (36) and fertile and wanting more kids. My cancer may have developed (or accelerated development) during my recent and only pregnancy. I was diagnosed 10 months after delivering my healthy baby boy, although symptoms (blood in stools) appeared shortly before I conceived my baby. My doctor at the time examined me and said "it might be hemmerhoids" but did not send me to get a colonscopy, and I didn't push for one. Sigh. I have always had an irritable bowel but never got a follow up diagnosis to my initial IBS diagnosis at age 19.

So, I don't know if any of you have been able to conceive and deliver a baby since your experience. Any news you could share in that regard?

After bawling for a week after I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer, learning that I'm going to live but will likely undergo early menopause after the chemo and radition (before and after surgery), my husband and I are considering harvesting some of my eggs and fertilizing them for possible use later - either by me or a surrogate. Does anyone have experience with this? My doctors have told me that the uterus will be severly scarred after treatment and not able to carry a fetus for an entire pregnancy.

I have also seen a few articles about how pregnancy can stimulate cancer development, but nothing conclusive so I'm looking for anecdotal experience from others like myself. Meanwhile, I'll keep you posted!

I hope to hear from you all.

Angela ([email protected])
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replied August 9th, 2007
I am so glad to find this forum. I am 27 year Spanish woman who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer four years ago (I was only 23) and successfully defeated as well. Side effects from the ops were: permanent colostomy, difficulties in having sex (thinner vagina), and although I continue having my menstruation, I´ve noticed its much lesser than that I used to have (used to last 4 days, and now with 1.5 its all done:-(
I neither have any kids and I might want one in the coming years.
Prior to the radiotherapy, they did an operation to move my ovaries to my hip, so then although chemo still affects it it os protected from radiotherapy, so they might keep the hormonal function in my body. Feels like my uterus might not be able to keep a baby for 9 months but my eggs should be fine, or maybe not? (this is all my diagnose from observing my body)
I have asked to my doctors, but they all said we´ll see, as I have not been thinking yet to have babies right now I ´m not totally concerned, but I would like to know my chances, and your successful stories really help me. Thanks for reading
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replied August 23rd, 2007
Hi all, Kate here, when I last spoke to you I was about to start chemo. I had it it was disgusting and horrible, but I am still here and feel healthy now. I will be two years in remission in December. If I get my two year clearance, we are thinking of trying for a baby. Mycycle is back to normal so I think it will be ok, but I am still afraid of the unknown... will the baby suffer any adverse effects from the chemo, will my body cope ok. Such a shame to be nervous, as when I had my daughter I was so confident (although I didn't know I had a tennis ball size tumour sitting next to her !!) She is 31/2 now and would be a great big sister. Will keep you posted if we have success or find out any news. Best wishes to anyone starting the colon cancer journey... it is challenging, but it gives you perspective too.
Kate
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replied October 27th, 2007
Pregnancy After Colon Cancer
I am 39 and just passed my 1yr mark since resection surgery for stageII colon cancer. I had 6 mos chemo. All of my docs have assured me that I can have children if I still have my cycles. My big fear is that my tumor produced CEA's which are also produced during pregnancy. I guess I feel like right now I am negative for CEA's and to have them reappear.....I just wonder that if there is something still lurking will it speed up the growth or is it all unrelated? I can't seem to find an answer out there!! Confused
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