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Old 05-22-2013, 01:38 AM   #1
ScotGirl
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Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

Hello, this is my 1st post. Apologies for fact that it's a repeat of an older thread but there wasn't much response to it.
I was diagnosed with oestrogen positive bc earlier this year , have had 2 rounds of FEC and now 2 (of 4) of Herceptin with Taxotere. I've been wanting to do as much as possible to counter the side effects of my treatment but without reducing its effectiveness . From what I had read the half life of the drugs in FEC is quite short and as I already had a Far Infrared Sauna for my arthritis -which is absolutely fine after hip replacements- I reckoned that it would be ok to start using the sauna a couple of days after each treatment . So when I started FEC I asked my oncologist if I could carry on using the FIR Sauna. He was a bit non-commital, I don't think he had heard of them but said yes as I was already using it. However I've just read that Herceptin half life is weeks not days. I'm groping my way in the dark here but to me that sounds as though it doesn't just stay in your body but actually continues to work during that time . I wouldn't wan't to hinder that by trying to flush it out too soon so I've not used the sauna since my last treatment a few days ago. I'm seeing my oncologist in a couple of weeks and will ask him about this then but I would be really grateful to know if anyone else has experience of this as using the sauna has been one of the things helping me to feel not totally out of control and I would really like to be able to use it if I can. Thanks
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
conomyself
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Re: Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

Hmmm, there are probably no studies on this!

I don't know the answer, but I have an infrared sauna in the basement and I used it from time to time during the winter and the cancer still improved. I never even thought of it affecting my treatment...it just helped me feel better because I was always so cold.

Love,

Rachael
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7/30/2012 Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer
8/3/2012 CT scan mets to liver (major!!), lungs, spine, and skin
8/8/2012 Biopsy results: invasive ductal carcinoma
ER+/PR+/HER2+ amplification 4.8 (whatever that means)
8/13/2012 Brain MRI (clear); bone scan verified CT scan
8/14/12 started Taxotere/Carboplatin/Herceptin, 2 rounds (added Neulasta after 9/4 treatment)
9/4/12 CA 15-3: >3000
9/15/12 CA 15-3: 840
9/15/12 started Taxotere/Perjeta/Herceptin, 4 rounds (no Neulasta)
10/29/12 CT scan showed dramatic improvement in all areas - largest liver met 2.5 cm, largest lung met 10 cm
12/17/12 Started Perjeta/Herceptin, 2 rounds
12/17/12 CA 15-3: 17 Yay!!!
1/21/13 CT scan showed improvement - largest liver met 1.9 cm, largest lung met 2 mm
1/29/13 CA 15-3: 12 Started Herceptin only
3/12/13 CA 15-3: still 12 yay!! Back to Perjeta/Herceptin
3/29/13 CT scan more improvement - largest liver met 1.2 cm, some lung mets disappeared!
3/7/14 started Tamoxifen
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Began a diet of only single ingredient foods and went nearly NED excepts for some tiny lung spots - ask me if you want to know more...
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
ScotGirl
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Smile Re: Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

Thanks Rachel, I think you're right it will just be anecdotal evidence . Appreciate you replying , hope you continue to do well.

ps tried to end with a Smiley but it didn't work!
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:25 AM   #4
Jackie07
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Re: Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

Found this abstract of an 2009 study that mentioned a patient using herbal sauna as CAM... Be sure to get an approval from your doctor. (There are quite a few reports on the benefit to the cardiovascular function ...)

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009;10(5):779-82.
Proportion of gynecologic cancer patients using complementary and alternative medicine.
Supoken A, Chaisrisawatsuk T, Chumworathayi B.
Source
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.
Abstract
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for treatment of cancer and for supportive care of cancer patients must be clearly separated. There is encouraging evidence for CAM in the latter area, such as acupuncture and progressive muscle relaxation for chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, and aromatherapy for decreasing anxiety and increasing quality of life. However, there are limited data about CAM used by gynecologic cancer patients, especially in Thai women. Therefore, the authors aimed to investigate the proportion and types of CAM using in our gynecologic cancer patients.
METHODS:
This cross-sectional survey was conducted between October to December, 2008. Totals of 50 admitted and 50 walk-in gynecologic cancer patients 1 month after diagnosis, aged more than 20 years and able to give informed consent, were selected for one-by-one interview by random walking survey.
RESULTS:
Among the 100 interviewed patients, aged 21-69 (mean=50.12), there were 46 cases of cervical cancers, 35 of ovarian cancers, 18 of endometrial cancers (two of these also had ovarian cancers), 2 of malignant gestational trophoblastic diseases, 1 of vulvar cancer, and 1 liver cancer (in a patient with ovarian cancer). Some 67% (95% CI, 57.8-76.2%) of them used CAM. As diet modifications, 11 used Chinese vegetarian, 8 common vegetarian, 5 Cheewajit, and 1 macrobiotics. Five of them used dietary supplements while colonic detoxification was emplyed in three. As herbal medicines, 27 used Thai herbs, 4 Chinese herbs, and 1 a herbal sauna. Twelve were receiving Thai massage. As exercises, 23 used aerobics and 5 stretching. Interestingly, 62 of them used Buddhist praying while only 3 employed native magic.
CONCLUSIONS:
The three most common forms of CAM used by our gynecologic cancer patients were Buddhist praying (62/67, 92.5%), followed by herbal medicines (27/67, 40.3%) and exercises (25/67, 37.3%).
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http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/MultiMedi...=114&trackID=2

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10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016
7-23-2018 9 mm groundless(granules?) nodule within the right lower lobe with indolent behavior. Due to possible adenocarcinoma, Recommend annual surveilence.
7-10-2019 CT to check lung nodule.

"I WANT TO BE AN OUTRAGEOUS OLD WOMAN WHO NEVER GETS CALLED AN OLD LADY. I WANT TO GET SHARP EDGED & EARTH COLORED, TILL I FADE AWAY FROM PURE JOY." Irene from Tampa

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Old 05-25-2013, 10:54 PM   #5
ScotGirl
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Re: Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

Thanks Jacqui. I Googled the report and had a look at a few others . The overall message seems to be that oncologists need to become more aware of and start to research the benefits of alternative remedies in supporting the usual drug-based treatments . I couldn't agree more. Thanks again
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:38 AM   #6
Paula O
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Re: Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

Hi Scotgirl,

I, too have an interest in natural means to detoxify. I used my friend's Home Far Infrared Sauna when I was doing alternative medicine the months before I began conventional treatment. It sure makes ya sweat like crazy while it's doing what it's supposed to do! Since our skin is a major excretory organ it is a helpful means of elimination. I waited on intestinal cleanses and other herbal detox methods until after I was done with the year of herceptin as I was concerned, as you are about not shortchanging myself of it's benifits. It's easy to feel like a chemical toxic waste dump, huh?

Once any (including one) lymph nodes are removed though,many experts feel that the risk for lymphedema is significantly increased in hot envirornments like jacuzzis and saunas and best avoided so I have not done since before the mastectomy. Dry skin brushing (you can Google method if you haven't done) is a safer alternative it seems after lymph node removal. I like vigorous rebounding on a mini trampoline to stimulate my lymphatic system pumping out the junk. Drinking lots of water, eating wholesome foods and avoiding junk makes a big difference in how our bodies are able to eliminate.

I wish you the very best for a wonderfully successful course of treatment. How are you feeling these days?

Paula
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
Jackie07
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Re: Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

This recent research article cautions against the risk of lymphedema [I walked 30 minutes everyday during chemo - probably had some detox effect (from sweating) besides other benefits.]:

Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Lifestyle risk factors associated with arm swelling among women with breast cancer.
Showalter SL, Brown JC, Cheville AL, Fisher CS, Sataloff D, Schmitz KH.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Mar;20(3):842-9. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2631-9. Epub 2012 Oct 3.
Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) is a feared complication for breast cancer patients who have undergone axillary surgery. Although clinical risk factors for BCRL are defined, data are sparse regarding common exposures that might induce incident arm swelling. The goal of this study was to quantify the association between common exposures thought to be potential risk factors and the occurrence of incident arm swelling among breast cancer survivors with or at risk for BCRL.

METHODS:
This is a prospective subanalysis of the Physical Activity and Lymphedema (PAL) trial, a randomized controlled trial of 295 breast cancersurvivors. Participants reported their exposure to 30 different potential risk factors at 3 month intervals for 1 year. Incident arm swelling was defined as a ≥5% increase in interlimb water volume difference between two consecutive time points.

RESULTS:
Twenty-seven participants (9%) experienced incident arm swelling and 268 patients (91%) did not. Sauna use was the only exposure that was significantly predictive of incident arm swelling (p = 0.05). Nonwhite and nonblack participants had a significantly increased risk for experiencing incident arm swelling (p = 0.005 for both comparisons).

CONCLUSIONS:
In our patient cohort, many common exposures that have been reported to be risk factors did not prove to have a significant predictive relationship for incident arm swelling. This study supports the recommendation that breast cancer patients who have had axillary surgery should avoid sauna use. The results do not confirm the need for other restrictions that may interfere with the quality of life in women with breastcancer.
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http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/06/doctors-letter-patient-newly-diagnosed-cancer.html
http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/MultiMedi...=114&trackID=2

NICU 4.4 LB
Erythema Nodosum 85
Life-long Central Neurocytoma 4x5x6.5 cm 23 hrs 62090 semi-coma 10 d PT OT ST 30 d
3 Infertility tmts 99 > 3 u. fibroids > Pills
CN 3 GKRS 52301
IDC 1.2 cm Her2 +++ ER 5% R. Lmptmy SLNB+1 71703 6 FEC 33 R Tamoxifen
Recc IIB 2.5 cm Bi-L Mast 61407 2/9 nds PET
6 TCH Cellulitis - Lymphedema - compression sleeve & glove
H w x 4 MUGA 51 D, J 49 M
Diastasis recti
Tamoxifen B. scan
Irrtbl bowel 1'09
Colonoscopy 313
BRCA1 V1247I
hptc hemangioma
Vertigo
GI - > yogurt
hysterectomy/oophorectomy 011410
Exemestane 25 mg tab 102912 ~ 101016 stopped due to r. hip/l.thigh pain after long walk
DEXA 1/13
1-2016 lesions in liver largest 9mm & 1.3 cm onco. says not cancer.
3-11 Appendectomy - visually O.K., a lot of puss. Final path result - not cancer.
Start Vitamin D3 and Calcium supplement (600mg x2)
10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016
7-23-2018 9 mm groundless(granules?) nodule within the right lower lobe with indolent behavior. Due to possible adenocarcinoma, Recommend annual surveilence.
7-10-2019 CT to check lung nodule.

"I WANT TO BE AN OUTRAGEOUS OLD WOMAN WHO NEVER GETS CALLED AN OLD LADY. I WANT TO GET SHARP EDGED & EARTH COLORED, TILL I FADE AWAY FROM PURE JOY." Irene from Tampa

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe

Last edited by Jackie07; 05-26-2013 at 08:24 PM..
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:59 AM   #8
ScotGirl
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Re: Herceptin and Detox (Far Infrared Sauna)

Hi Paula, thanks very much for replying, your approach seems a lot like mine what you say fits in with what I've been thinking and what little I've been able to find on the net . I'll be seeing my oncologist next week so will speak to him again then , though I'm pretty sure I know what he's going to say ie don't use the sauna. I'll be really upset not being able to use it as I'm convinced just using it has helped me stay positive by feeling that I'm actually doing something to help myself but I would be daft not to be guided by my onc. If there were studies supporting its use which I could show him it would be different but there just doesn't seem to be much out there

So far I'm doing ok thanks. The worst side effects-don't know if its the Taxotere or the Herceptin, I really hope its the Taxotere as my last one is in 5 weeks and the Herceptin has almost a year to go! --have been change in taste , which has put me back to eating lots of carbs like sausage, beans and tomato ketchup(!)(I know that's not good but in the week after treatment I've decided to be realistic and go for what keeps me happy and gets me through) , and very itchy skin with a bright red rash though thank goodness not on my face. So far I've been lucky, not too tired and just one day so far of feeling really yucky but I forced myself to get my e-bike out, it was a beautiful sunny day and went for a ride along the coastal cycle path. That worked wonders and made me realise how important it is to try to get about and about and do the things I would normally do. Unfortunately its chucking it down here today and I'm not at all tempted to get the bike out!

I hope that you're OK and doing well . Thanks again

Hi Jacqui, that's very interesting and very helpful. I had read somewhere that sauna use could maybe cause lymphedema but this is much more specific and I definitely won't be using the sauna after I have my lymph nodes removed once the chemo finishes . I hope you are doing OK
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