Anyone on Avastin?

Hi there… My onc is currently trying to get me Avastin, to have alongside weekly taxol. I have another condition ( in addition to my triple negative bc) which causes a lot of inflammation so he thinks I might especially benefit from it, as it works by preventing new blood vessels being formed to ‘fuel’ tumours apparently… as excess inflammation can do this. I’d be interested in others experiences, side effects etc, as seems that this drug is not commonly prescribed?

Thanks! X

Hi scaryfox - I have been on Avastin since February. I have it at the same time as Zometa, every 3 weeks IV. I’m not aware of any se’s - I had quite a few aches and pains at the end of chemo (I started Avastin halfway through), and Avastin could have contributed to them, but it’s hard to say. My onc keeps a close eye on my kidneys as there is always a small showing of protein in my urine tests, but it hasn’t got any worse and is within limits - it is a recognised problem though. Generally the se’s are thought to be minimal, but it’s use for bc patients is fairly new.

I hope you manage to get the funding - it is horrifically expensive. Before my insurance agreed to pay for it we had said we would pay ourselves - we were a bit shocked when we were quoted £150,000 for a year! If you are unlucky - research out a couple weeks ago has found watercress can do the same thing!!

Hi scaryfox,

I had Avastin last year when I was on weekly Taxol, too. As I started both of them together, couldn’t really tell what was exactly contributing to the se I was having. I did have a few nose bleed which my chemo nurse was almost certain that it was caused by Avastin.

I hope you can get the funding, too. As finty said, it’s very expensive. My insurance company wouldn’t pay for it on its own when Taxol was stopped after 6 months.

All the best


Thanks both…

£150,000!!! doubt if I’ll get it at all then, as my insurance policy has a limit of 100,000 a year and I must have used a good portion of that already! Good to hear that side effects aren’t too awful.

Finty, interesting re watercress! I’d heard it was great for BC too, have started adding it to my twice daily veggie juices!

M1yu, how did you find weekly taxol? I start tomorrow bloods permitting.


Hi scaryfox,

Compare to the one I just finished this year - FEC, Taxol was much much easier for me! I had it on a Wed, tiredness usually kicked in on Fri and I was all right by Sun. Skin was a bit dry and lots of spots. That’s about it for me. But everyone is different, so hope you won’t find it too difficult either.


Scaryfox this is a link to the reseacrh on watercress:

It really sounds very exciting - I think you have to eat quite a lot though, I’m munching through half a bag a day!

Re the cost of Avastin, if you are a skinny minny the cost will be less - it’s done on body weight and being generously built I needed a bit more than most! So worth a try anyway.

finty xx

Hiya Scaryfox
I was quoted £20K for avastin and that was the price mentioned in the news recently?? We have private health insurance and I was looking into it but all 3 oncs I have seen have dismissed it in BC (including the professor at the marsden). Apparently there is a high chance the licence will be lost as recent research is not backing up the original success stories.
My onc told me that the SE’s are quite bad including damage to the heart (??) and that is why it tends to be used as a last resort. I would push for access to parp inhibitors if I was you- they see to be the best hope available for us triple neg ladies. I have even considered going to the states to access parps if and when I nned them. My hubby has even found them for sale on the internet- not that I would usually consider doing anything so risky but who knows if I get desperate???
All the best tomorrow
Tina x