Jan 1, 2009 10:05AM , edited Jan 1, 2009 10:46AM by my2boys
Hello and welcome nylady. I am also from New York. When I was first diagnosed, my oncologist recommended ACTH. I was VERY concerned about the toxic effects of AC on the heart because I wanted to make sure that I would be able to continue with the Herceptin.
After a second opinion recommended the TCH for me, I did some research on my own and found that it's an east coast vs. west coast thing. TCH is not as widely tested as ACTH, but has been proven to be about the same as far as effectiveness goes, without the cardiac side effects. ACTH is rarely used on the west coast, but here on the east coast it is still very widely used.
My oncologist is with Memorial Sloan Kettering here in New York and he first recommended ACTH for me, but after hearing my concerns about the permanent cardiac damage that can result from this regimen, he agreed to switch to TCH. I am about 2/3 of the way through my treatments and I am happy with my decision. If I did not need the Herceptin, I don't know if I would have made the decision I did, but I didn't want my MUGA to fall and eliminate the Herceptin.
One more thing, I am told that the side effects from TCH are a bit easier to take than the ACTH. I cannot confirm this other than from my experience with TCH. The fatigue, bit of anemia and dry mouth are the worst, but other than that I think that I have been pretty lucky so far. I still have a few treatments left, but I am hoping for the best.
My advice to you is to go for a few opinions, do some research on your own and once you make a decision, please don't doubt yourself or look back. It might be helpful to look through the Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin thread in the "Chemo, before during and after" section of this website. Most of the women there are from the west coast.....like I said earlier it's an east coast vs. west coast thing.
Good luck to you dear. This is a tough road we girls are traveling, but please always remember that knowledge is power and you have a wonderful support system here. God Bless You.