The cancer-related article in Sunday’s MDJ was welcome information. I would like to go one step further and inform those who have been, or know someone diagnosed with cancer about one more test.
My wife, Cheryl, had cancer and we were told it was treatable, starting with chemotherapy. That’s as far as we got. You see, the common chemo drug “5-fluorouracil” (5-fu) is mostly broken down by the enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (dpd). Cheryl was one of the approximately 4 percent of the population who has a lack of dpd. This deficiency causes the chemo drug to really hit the patient full force. In Cheryl’s case, the chemo drug, the cancer treatment, caused her death.
Our oncologist knew of this condition and had Cheryl tested after it was too late to save her. Our doctor was with a Georgia cancer specialist that knew of the test for this condition, but doesn’t routinely test for it.
We as patients and family must self advocate. Before receiving 5-fu GET TESTED. It could save your life.