Comment from: 45-54 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year Published: October 15

My mother has been taking Tarceva(Cancers Miracle Drug) for about 10 months now and it has stopped the spreading of her cancer.My mom has lung cancer,which has mestatized to her bones,stomach and lymph nodes,Before the Tarceva her blood count was so low she had to have blood transfusions now her blood count is way up there.She has the normal side effects but my mom is still here and my dad died in 1999 of the same thing.He was diagnosed with lung cancer on Sept 29th and died Dec 3rd.There was no tarceva back then.Obviously there is no cure for Cancer but this medication has given our family hope and almost another year with our mom.To us this is a miracle.

Related Reading: tarceva | cancer | lung cancer

Comment from: patskyamber, 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: September 24

On March 27, 2013, my 37th birthday, I was diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma. I had a 4 cm tumor on the right top lobe, cancer cells on my plura and in the fluid, as well as active cancer cells in one of my ribs. My amazing doctor, Dr. Richard Gorman, immediately tested me to see if I could take it. On April 19, 2013 as I was getting a port placed, Dr. Gorman called my mom with the great news being able to start Tarceva. So on April 22, 2013 instead of starting chemo I started 150mg of Tarceva. Within 3 weeks my whole face and my scalp was covered in the rash. My face seriously looked like a pepperoni pizza lol. He took me off, then started me at 100mg to move me up to 125mg. I do have the most irritating rash in my scalp that sometimes goes down my back but other than that it's been smooth sailing. Just did a PET scan August 19, 2013 and it has helped tremendously. My cancer in my rib, gone, 2 spots on my plura gone, and tumor has shrank half a cm. Praise you Jesus! In April I was told 2 to 5 months w/o treatment, and maybe 18 months w/treatment, but w/this success and prayer I am positive I have many years left. Anyone reading this just remember a few things: 1)try to always be positive 2)set goals for your self 3)make future plans and 4)have faith. Bless each and everyone of you reading this no matter who you do or don't pray to.

Related Reading: rash

Comment from: Thank you, 55-64 Female on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: May 31

In 2003 I was not expected to live 8 months. I took the chemo for a year until the Tarceva became available in 2004. I have been taking 100 mg for over 5 years. The tumors have been in remission in my lung for 5 years. All check ups satisfactory. As you are aware we are all different. I have the common side effects. I have fatigue and diarrhea side effects along with rash. Heat will aggravate the rash. Hot weather will not be your friend. You may also experience dry skin and nail splitting. For the diarrhea I keep 1 ammonium AD pill in my pocket for those time it becomes a problem. The longer you use the Tarceva the better you are able to handle the side effects. This has been a God send for me and my family. I thank God everyday for this medication.

Related Reading: fatigue | diarrhea | dry skin

Comment from: 45-54 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 10

I am non smoker diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in the spring of 2007. My tumor could only be treated by chemo. After first treatment the cancer was quiet for about 10 months. I couldn't tolerate the 2nd round of chemo. My oncologist started me on 150mg of Tarceva. I had a severe skin rash, mouth & nose sores, etc. after 5 days on the drug. He immediately stopped treatment, I recovered in 5 days. He lowered the dose to 100mg, I take it for 5 days and off 2 each week. I have been able to tolerate it quite well after 6 mos. When started cancer was agressive and had spread to other lung and in my chest. After starting Tarceva, the first CAT scan showed all cancer cleared up except for the original tumor, which has been progressively decreasing since. I do have a fatigue that comes and goes with other slight side effects. So far this drug is truly saving my life. I thank God for it.

Comment from: KimmieAnne, 55-64 on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: December 09

Was diagnosed with Stage 4 nsclc in November 2003 and given 2-3 years to live. Did year and a half of chemo, six months of radiation and six months on Iressa. Been on Tarceva 150mg for the past 7 years with great success. No further growth in my plura and no new cancer growth anywhere else. Life is good!

Related Reading: iressa

Comment from: Patti, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-2 years Published: July 09

My mom, who is 85 years old, has been on Tarceva for l year now and is doing great. This has been the only treatment she has had. She is only on 100mg, and her latest catscan has shown, slow growing....Wonderful for my mom as well as her family....

Comment from: menschinskind, 65-74 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years Published: June 03

My wife was diagnosed with NSCL on May 2, 2006 stage IV. She had the standatd chemotherapy for about 2 months, then after a break, she had 15 Radiation treatments on her lower spine (5th Lumbar). then she was place on a study using Avastin IV and Tarceva oral (150mg). She has been on this combo for over 1 year. overall, it has stopped the growth of the tumor in her lung-the radiated tumor never came back. However, the neuropathy she experiences is sometimes overwhelming- coughing, sneezing hurt her, her hands and feet have always tingled and hurt-sometimes quite a lot. Nothing has been effective to reduce this problem. Her Dr.receintly stopped the Tarceva after she ecperienced so many of the side effects all at once. Weight loss, rash(s), mouth sores, split lip/ finger tips. after being off of the drug for 5 days, she returned to normal. After two weeks the Dr. put her back on the drug at a lower dose 100 mg vs 150mg. She experienced rectal bleeding two weeks ago so the Dr stopped the every three week dose of Avastin-a Colonoscopy has been scheduled... the latest problem is Foot-drop. But the real important thing is that the combination of the two drugs do work. She had CT scans about every 6 weeks and they always show that the tumor is stable-no growth. and there is no growth anywhere else!

Related Reading: avastin | tarceva | rash

Comment from: Sandy, 75 or over Female on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: May 05

I’ve had non small cell lung cancer since early 2012. I’ve been taking 100 mg of tarceva daily since October, and this arrested the growth of the tumour some months ago. It remains static and predictions are impossible but I feel well and can live normally. The regime is three weeks on tarceva, with Imodium to control the diarrhoea and skin sensitivity, and a week off to catch up and take a breather. It took a bit of experimenting to get this balance. I’m also taking 2 mg of the steroid dexamethasone and this keeps spirits up, and movement and energy at reasonable levels. So I’d like you to hear the message that the terrifying diagnosis last year was not the end for me, and yours doesn’t need to be for you. Nobody knows long I will last. For now – and now might be quite a long time – I’m still here and every day is a joy, with pleasures to seek out. I feel this is a real choice: is my glass pleasantly half full or miserably half empty? The evidence is the same for both, so the difference is inside my head, where I can control it if I choose. Montaigne observed that learning how to live really means learning how to die. We all must, and learning how to die well must also mean living well until we go. The choice is between actively facing this conundrum and discovering how to manage it and what to do to deal with the questions, or pretending it won’t happen if you don’t think about it. Take charge of what you can, or let it sneak up and happen to you, unprepared and denying. I’m learning a lot about what helps in this situation, and what doesn’t, and I’d really like to share the messages with you who are facing similar situations and working out what to do about them. I may be a bit further along the journey than you, and able to share useful tips. Or maybe you’re ahead of me, and can teach me things I’ll need to know. I’ve started a blog on this, and you can find it at http://blog.careersolutions.co.uk. I’d really like

Related Reading: lung cancer | tarceva | imodium

Comment from: 65-74 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: September 16

I started taking Tarceva in Sept 2005. At first I was taking 150 mg but my doctor reduced it to 75 mg because of the extreme diarrhea and terrible rash on my face. I am still taking it (September 2008) and although I still have problems with diarrhea I am alive and still working. I will be 68 in October and have been able to enjoy my life and see my grandchildren grow. I am married to a wonderful man and we enjoy life and each other. I do not know how long this will all last but I know that without the Tarceva I probably would not be alive. I have a PET scan every six months and will be due again in November. I will try to write you again and tell you how I am doing.

Related Reading: diarrhea

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: November 06

I'm 37, never smoked a cigarette in my life, diagnosed with metastatic NSCL in Feb 2011 after a series of respiratory infections, pneumonia and a chronic cough. I received chemo for 5 months, my cycles ran 2 weeks on, 1 week off. I initially started Tarceva in July, 150 mgs daily. I didn't do so well as I had the awful facial rash, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite and rapid weight loss. My oncologist switched to every other day for a few weeks. Currently my dosage is 100 mgs daily. I am still dealing with the rash (facial, chest, shoulders, and now on below the knees to my ankles). Hydrocortisone cream has helped. My skin is extremely dry and painful. Vanicream gives me some relief. I have neuropathy in my fingers on both hands and fatigue (this has gotten better). I have not had any issues with diarrhea, shortness of breath, eyesight, nose/mouth sores. My last CTs showed that Tarceva is indeed working for me. The tumor in my lung shrunk from 4 cm to 2.5 cm. The lesions in my left and right lungs have become scar tissue or continue to shrink, and the lesions on my brain have turned to scar tissue as well. Even though I do not like the side effects from Tarceva, it is working and has given me a second chance at life.

Related Reading: pneumonia | cough | hydrocortisone


Lung cancer is a disease in which lung cells grow abnormally in an uncontrolled way. See Answer
Comment from: Ann2008, 65-74 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: March 28

Diagnosed 6/08 with stage IIIB inoperable. Given 3 months to 1 yr to live. Took 6mos of chemo of Carboplaten and Alimta. Cancer went into remission. Started Tarceva 12/08 and have been on it every since. At 150mg had several side effects, then onc.dropped me to 100mg. Still had a few side effects mostly related to sore and split fingers. I am now on 75mg for a month and have no side effects. Cancer tumors have turned to scar tissue. I thank God everyday for blessing me that I am still alive and feel healthy. I pray that it continues to work. I am interested to know how long one can take this medication without it harming other parts of the body.

Related Reading: alimta | cancer | tarceva

Comment from: brd, 55-64 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: May 27

I was diagnosed stage IV in May 08, 3 cycles of chemotherapy. Went on Tarceva in September 08. Bone tumors appear to be gone, lung tumor is 1/2 size. Very few side effects. At first this drug worked very fast in reducing my tumors, now is steady. I hope this continues and have confidence in the drug.

Comment from: wlarson921, 65-74 Female on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: February 21

Been on Tarceva for about 6 months now and could not be happier with the results. Tarceva has killed a spot of carcinoma that was on my right ear. Have learned how beat the rash and fatigue. You can contact me and I'd be more then happy to help you to get over the rash too. [email protected]

Related Reading: rash | fatigue

Comment from: Betty, 65-74 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: November 16

How blessed I am. Have been on Tarceva for6 months. No side effects at all. My CT scans are great. I feel good and am very lucky.

Comment from: fphsyr, 65-74 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: May 25

In 2013 I was diagnosed with NSCLC in right upper lobe. Cancer was discoveredp in 2 stages of the lymp nodes. Had 25 treatments of radiation and 5 treatments of chemo. Neither treatments showed shrinkage but tumor did not grow. Had surgery of removal of right upper lobe after treatments. Had CT scan 3 months after surgery and found many small spots of cancer cells in both lungs. Started 150 mg of Tarceva. Had 2 CT since I started Tarceva with great improvement. It is so important to have a positive attitude, stay strong and eat healthy. I go to the YMCA 3 times a week and walk almost every day. Yoga has been a terrific help with improving my breathing and a mind and body balance. I do get a rash on my face when sitting in the sun or when I eat or drink certain foods. Eyelash get very long and need trimming to avoid dragging against the eyeglass lenses. Facial peach fuzz hair gone but do have some dark hair pop up. I found taking Tarceva in the morning on an empty stomach works best. I was devastated in knowing, as most people are, that I had lung cancer but after seeing so many young people with similar and worse cancer issue I got out of my pity pity me and decided to enjoy ever day that I am given. Stay strong for you are not alone in fighting this terrible disease.

Related Reading: lung cancer

Comment from: Myra, 65-74 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: April 27

I've been on Tarceva just over 9 months. for NSCLC. Started with 3 tumors. One is gone, one is now scar tissue and one is reduced to 5mm. Used Elidel for rash and put up with other side effects. I just stopped for 2 months to give me body and chance to recoup. Next CT scan 6/11, if tuor is still 5mm I'll wait to go back, please pray for me. So far this has been a miracle.

Related Reading: elidel

Comment from: mollyboo, 35-44 (Patient) Published: February 25


Comment from: 65-74 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: June 30

I have been on Tarceva for 7 months. At first, I had a manageable rash and diarrhea. Now my rash is severe, but the diarrhea is almost gone. My dosage has been cut to try to solve the rash problem. However, my tumor counts are almost at zero, so I'm encouraged.

Related Reading: diarrhea

Comment from: [email protected], 65-74 Female on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: October 02

rash/face hair, belly button, heel

Related Reading: rash

Comment from: dandas, 55-64 on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: October 01

I have been taking Tarceva 150 mg for almost 5 years now and still on remission the only side effects I have is skin rash that can be painful and diarrhea,otherwise my hair gets thicker ang grow eyelashes

Related Reading: tarceva | diarrhea

Comment from: blessed2, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: April 27

I had 1/2 lung removed and went thru chemo and radiation and then in Dec 07 went on 150 mg of Tarceva, in Dec 08 changed to 100 mg due to rash, cracked finger tips. I have been cancer free since the surgery, still have diarear problems, but I can handle it. Very grateful and blessed to have this med. Have had 3 PET scans since starting and still cancer free.

Related Reading: cancer

Comment from: [email protected], 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 25

Had severe rash and accompanied with itch/burn on face with 150mg; reduced to 100mg. Presently, face and body skin very dry but controlled by prescriptions, ulcers in mouth and eye, also controlled by prescription. Just started to notice face hair after approx. 2 months of use.

Related Reading: itch

Comment from: um7nmz, 45-54 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: April 07

I Non-SmallCell LungCancer Stage IIB Since June 2005, I had A Lobectomy in Sept. 2005,Later I Did Chemotherapy(Aggressive) For About 4 Months. I have been on Tarceva 150mg Since July 2006. My Side Effects Are Minor Neurapthy,Rash Around My Mouth,Fatigue Sometimes,Diaherra is under control I use Immodium.Nuerapthy Pain I use Lyrica from my Neurologist. Other than That I am Doing OK.Iv'e Just Taken A CAt-SCAN I have A Small tumor on both Left and Right Lungs But they are not Growing and My Cancer is NOT Spreading!!! I'm Still Forever GRATEFUL for this DRUG-TARCEVA 150mg!!! God Bless I;m Still ALIVE!!

Related Reading: rash | fatigue | lyrica

Comment from: Hope, 65-74 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: March 27

non-small cell lung cancer, surgery; metastatic to ribs, surgery; spine, radiation & surgery. I have been on tarceva for 1 year so far it seems to be working. No complications except at the begin with the pimples were terrible. However last month the Dr. said looking at the CT the tumors in the lungs might be growing a little bit. Will now also be on zometa.

Related Reading: lung cancer | tarceva | zometa

Comment from: weezie, 75 or over on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: February 16

My 89 mother is taking Tarceva for the last 5 1/2 months. Her biggest problem is the skin on her legs, back of neck and scalp is breaking down. She has large opened sores. Has anyone else experienced this? The tumors in her lungs are slowly shrinking. She started on 150MG but her eyes and nose became infected, so she is now on 100MG. It's an effective drug if you can tolerate it. If anyone needs help financially with Tarceva, contact Genentech- the manufacturer. My mom doesn't pay anything for this drug. God Bless!


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Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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