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Hemorrhagic Cystitis is a serious side effect of cytoxan aka cyclophosphamide.
One of my jobs as a multiple myeloma survivor and MM cancer coach is to educate newly diagnosed myeloma patients about the side effects of therapies. In the case of the chemotherapy drug cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), I have personal experience. I underwent two courses of high-dose cytoxan in September of ’95. I developed hemorrhagic cystitis and I am at high-risk of developing bladder cancer.
In the case of cytoxan, an MM patient can experience short-term (nausea, hair loss), long-term (hemorrhagic cystitis, irritable bladder) and late stage (bladder cancer) side effects.
Each patient must weigh the risks and benefits of chemotherapy- cytoxan in this case, against the possible side effects.
I understand that conventional oncology uses chemotherapy regimens that cause side effects. What bothers me is that there are evidence-based, non-toxic therapies that can reduce or even eliminate many of these side effects.
I have supplemented with Life Extension Super BioCurcumin since 2006 in an effort to remain cancer-free from a “treatment-related secondary cancer” like bladder cancer. Further, I supplement with taurine which has been shown to both prevent bladder damage as well as help bladder damage once it has occured.
Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? Are you considering undergoing toxic chemotherapy? If you would like to learn more about evidence-based non-toxic therapies shown to reduce or eliminate side effects please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Hemorrhagic cystitis or Haemorrhagic cystitis is defined by lower urinary tract symptoms that include dysuria, hematuria, and hemorrhage. The disease can occur as a complication of cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide and radiation therapy…”
Common side effects, which may be worse with the pills, include nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually can be controlled with anti-nausea medications. Hair loss can occur, but hair usually will grow back when the medication is stopped. Other common side effects include skin rashes. Cyclophosphamide increases the risk of developing some kinds of infections, especially herpes zoster, often referred to as “shingles.” Unusual infections can occur with cyclophosphamide use.
Blood cells: Cyclophosphamide can have significant effects on the blood cells, typically causing a reduced number of white blood cells, a key component of the body’s immune system. This can occur 8-12 days after starting treatment. Your doctor will check your blood counts around this time and make dose adjustments as needed.
Fertility problems: Cyclophosphamide can cause infertility in both men and women. This often is seen in older patients or those taking higher doses for long periods of time. Discuss this issue with your doctor before taking cyclophosphamide. Although women taking cyclophosphamide can stop having periods, they can still become pregnant so an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy should be used while taking this medication. Taking cyclophosphamide during pregnancy is very dangerous to an unborn child.
Bladder problems: Cyclophosphamide is broken down in the body into several other products. One byproduct known as acrolein can cause an irritation of the bladder, or “cystitis,” which may result in blood in the urine or scarring of the bladder. Patients taking oral cyclophosphamide should drink plenty of fluids each day to help prevent problems. Discuss with your doctor how much fluid you should consume daily while on cyclophosphamide. Patients receiving intravenous therapy are sometimes given a medication called mesna (Mesnex) to help prevent bladder problems.
Cancers: Cyclophosphamide increases the risk of developing some kinds of cancers, which can occur years after taking this medication. Long-term use and higher doses of cyclophosphamide may lead to a higher risk. Bladder cancer is the most common cancer related to cyclophosphamide, so your doctor will recommend periodic urine tests to screen for this. This needs to be continued for many years, even if your disease is in remission.
Cyclophosphamide/cytoxan is both a common chemotherapy regime and very toxic. I underwent cytoxan in September of 1995. I developed bladder problems shortly thereafter and chronic A-Fib in October of 2010. I am sterile as well but I manage to store some sperm in August of ’95. My son Alex just went to college last month. But that’s another story…
There are many nasty short, long-term and late stage side-effects that come from chemotherapy and radiation. The challenge is to identify and prevent these many side-effects before you have the chemotherapy. If you are reading this blog post before you undergo cytoxan then I encourage you to begin supplementing with taurine ASAP.
If you are reading this blog post after you have already undergone cytoxan and have developed bladder problems (like I have) then your options are to 1) do nothing or 2) try supplementing with taurine or other evidence-based bladder therapies and hope that your bladder heals.
Don’t misunderstand me. The phrase “if I knew then what I know now” is peppered throughout PeopleBeatingCancer. I even titled one of my e-books with that phrase. But that was then, this is now.
I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. I supplement with Life Extension Taurine (1000mg). I cannot report any real results yet because I started supplementing with Taurine about six months ago. At least I can report that my bladder function is not getting worse… I will keep you posted.
Are you considering undergoing cytoxan chemotherapy? Have you already had cytoxan and are experiencing bladder problems? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Cyclophosphamide (CP), also known as cytophosphane and cytoxan, is a medication used as chemotherapy and to suppress the immune system. As chemotherapy it is used to treat lymphoma, multiple myeloma, leukemia, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, neuroblastoma, and sarcoma…
Most people develop side effects. Common side effects include low white blood cell counts, loss of appetite, vomiting, hair loss, and bleeding from the bladder. Other severe side effects include an increased future risk of cancer, infertility, allergic reactions, and pulmonary fibrosis.
“Conversely, pretreatment with taurine (1% in drinking water to reach a dose of 1 g/kg per day) for 7 days before and 1 day after CP injection produced a significant decrease in urinary bladder weight (oedema) and a marked decrease in vascular congestion and haemorrhage, as well as a profound improvement in histological structure.
Moreover, taurine pretreatment resulted in a significant decrease in lipid peroxide in urinary bladder tissue and glutathione content was greatly restored…
Urinary bladder rings isolated from rats treated concurrently with taurine and CP showed a significant increase in their responsiveness to ACh compared with the CP group…
These results suggest that taurine offers a protective effect against CP-induced urinary bladder toxicity and may, therefore, decrease the limitation on its clinical application. These results merit extension and further investigation of the impact of taurine on CP antitumour activity…”