Cape - Breathlessness

Hi All,

I wanted to know what other common side effects other people have had with Cape. My mum has been on Cape exactly 12 months now, and just before Christmas started to become short of breath when climbing the stairs or bending down… Her nails have really dipped and discoloured too. 

She has scans the end of April, so I think one of her oncologists suggested to wait till she has her scans and bloods then.

I am a little concerned that it may not just be anaemia, because other posts ladies have found out to be lung mets or pleural effusion?? It’s such a scary and worrying time as it is before scans, but with this added worry on top!

Has anyone had a dose reduction on Cape ? How did that effect your treatment?

Thank you for any advice/ tips or help :slightly_smiling_face: very much appriecated.


I had a dose reduction early on in my Cape treatment and it did make a difference, but this was for those early debilitating side effects. Fatigue has continued to plague me. My oncologist explained that it was owing to Cape damaging my bone marrow but he didn’t offer a solution. He did however say I could take a break whenever I feel the need and just one extra week off those tablets is a huge morale booster but it only delays the inevitable - back we go…

If your mother’s oncologist isn’t overly concerned about her breathlessness, I would trust their judgment. They will have listened to her chest and know what they are looking for. It’s not a pleasant SE (what is??) but it’s not life threatening. As you say, the April scan will reassure her or identify a potential problem but don’t second-guess - it only leads to greater anxiety. Meantime, she is receiving treatment and other evidence such as her blood samples will indicate if there is new cancer activity. Even then, this may not be cause for alarm. I have had three periods in my 2 years on Cape when the cancer has got the better of the drug - each time, my body has rallied round and Cape has begun working again, keeping things under control. 

As for nails, this is quite common. Mine have become very strong and a little discoloured at the tips but they are slowly curling from the sides. I wonder how they’ll end up. The tips of several fingers have hardened and lost sensation. This is Cape affecting already existing peripheral neuropathy. I would advise a minor manicure weekly, making sure not to file down the sides too far or they might cause pain as they press into the sides on regrowth. I’d also advise moisturising all round each nail daily.

Wishing you both all the best

Jan x


When I was on Cape the breathlessness was dreadful and my GO gave me a ventolin inhaler which I tended to need at the top of the stairs. ( I’ve never been asthmatic) It certainly helped. I too was worried it was a sign of lung mets or something but it wasn’t. 
Take Care x