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I had J-pouch surgery 18 years ago for ulcerative colitis, developed pouchitis, and have since been diagnosed with Crohn's.  My disease has been well-controlled with daily Flagyl, Cipro, lomotil, and Entyvio infusions every 8 weeks. Two months ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 1-b breast cancer.  I've had a mastectomy and further surgery to remove lymph nodes.  I will be receiving chemotherapy soon, and am wondering if anyone out there has been in the same situation.  Have you had any complications as a result of having IBD and breast cancer?

Thank you,


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My concern is the chemo plus Entyvio. I had stage 3 thyroid cancer and got the radioactive iodine and at that time I was told no biological drugs until my cancer treatment was done. I had to wait some months after getting the radioactive iodine to start Remicade. I don't know if you will have to suspend the Entyvio. Or if you can go back to it once the chemo is done. The cancer treatment will likely take precedence and priority over the IBD treatment. In my case it did.

I had 2 lymph nodes surgically removed as well as the thyroid. The cancer metastasized into the lymph nodes. That surgery actually wasn't too bad but I did have to get radiation, scans etc. and was not allowed on Remicade for around 3 months at least.

Last edited by CTBarrister

Thank you for your response.  I hope you are doing well now.  The oncologist recommends that I have an Entyvio infusion just prior to starting chemo. I have two separate rounds of chemo scheduled, and will hopefully be able to have another infusion of Entyvio in between.  I guess it all depends on how  well I tolerate the chemo. 
Again, thank you for your response!

Yeah, I am doing well Jeanne! My surgery to remove the cancer by taking out the thyroid and lymph nodes was in July 2015.  I started Remicade November 2015. Thyroid cancer recurrence is pretty easy to monitor via blood tests, because thyroid cells produce a protein that gets picked up on blood tests in the event of recurrence or spread.  Between blood tests and scans, I have been cancer free since.  I was stage 3 because when they did surgery they found a metastasis into the 2 lymph nodes near the thyroid, but apparently that's as far as it got and those lymph nodes were removed. It is typically a slow growing cancer.

I wish you the best with the Chemo.  One of the Court Reporters I work with had breast cancer and then chemo treatment like you around 7 years ago.  Like my treatment, at Smilow in New Haven.  She was in her early 50s at the time, and a very attractive woman with beautiful long hair.  She lost all the hair but it did eventually grow back and she is doing very well now.  She also had a double mastectomy.  We stayed in touch during our respective treatments.  I was really glad her hair came back because I think she was concerned about it and she really had and has a wonderful long mane of hair.

If you can do Entyvio between the chemo treatments, that is ideal.  I was not really given that choice.  Both my endocrinologist (they treat thyroid cancer, the only cancer not treated by oncologists) and my GI did not want me starting on Remicade until months after my surgery and radioactive iodine had completed.  I received a pretty high dosage of radioactive iodine at Smilow Hospital in New Haven (157 millicuries) after surgery. It was a very weird procedure- they put me in a small room and 4 doctors (I think 3 of them may have been students) came into the room in HazMat suits and gave me a lead canister with the liquid radioactive iodine which I had to drink.  It's usually taken via pills, but they gave me liquid because of my IBD and so as to insure full absorption!  It tasted like salt water.  Only had to drink like very little, maybe 1/4 cup.  No side effects from it but I was on a low iodine diet for like 3 or 4 weeks prior which is the worst diet ever, because you basically can't eat anything that tastes good, LOL.

I remember also while I was at Smilow some guy came in from the federal nuclear regulatory commission (NRC) and basically gave me a lecture and some federal guidelines to follow- the big things were, (1) complete self isolation in my condo for 1 week until I lost my radioactivity, (2) I had to flush the toilet like 3 times every time I used it for a week, and (3) I could not take my garbage out for a week.  I was also told that any contact, even fleeting, with dogs or pregnant women could be harmful to them and to avoid such contact if I went out for a walk etc.

Last edited by CTBarrister

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