Taxol instead of taxotere

Hi everyone!
I am 45 and was diagnosed with a grade 2 stage 2 lump at the end of January. The treatment plan was 4 x FEC and 4 x taxotere. I only managed one taxotere but had an allergic reaction so they swapped to taxol. Does anyone know the difference between the 2 drugs? Also, why do most people seem to have 3xFEC and 3x T? I don’t think my veins can cope with much more. Some of them have gone hard like worms! I am having the chemo before the mastectomy. Sorry this is a bit of a ramble but would welcome other people’s story’s about how their bodies are bearing up to the onslaught of chemo.

Dear Mateface67,
Like you I’m having chemo first then surgery.
There’s a few people on Taxol you can join us here: Anyone on weekly taxol/paclitaxel
Perhaps read Patchit’s post - If I remeber correclty her ONC advised not to try weekly Taxol following an allergic reaction to TAX.
I can’t answer your queries about the nature of the drugss, they are from the same family so should ‘attack’ the lump in the same manner.
I am on 7 x weekly taxol. I will have my second jucing tomorrow (Wednesday). I had no reaction to it and the side effects have been absolutley minimal and thankfully no more nausea. Firends on the March thread seem to be having a rough time with TAX so I am glad I am on the weekly Taxol. The only expereince I can share is being anemic but that’s a result of the 4 x FEC I had just completed. I am now getting a weekly injection to boost my red blood cells. I can say its very doable physically. The hard work, as always, is the mental journey…
Regarding your veins, that’s a different matter. I had a port fitted in my chest and have had all chemo delivered that way. i can’t understand why some pateints are offered this and some not. I’ve found it the best thing.

Sounds like oyu need more professional info, try BCC services they are excellent and talk to you ONC again. My motto in all of this is : ASK for WHAT you NEED.

Taxol = paclitaxel
BCC leaflet:
Taxotere = docetaxel
BCC leaflet:

Hi Mateface67

Sorry to hear of the problems you had on Taxotere. I also had a reaction to my first taxotere and have been taken off it and put back on Fec for my last 2 doses. As I understand it, if you have lymph node involvement you have Fec and Tax, if no node involvement, you have Fec and not Tax. I am sure someone will correct me if that is not right! I am not sure if the grade of the tumour is also a contributory factor. I have had my mx before chemo, so am in a slightly different situation to you. My Onc said that he wouldn’t give me the weekly Taxol after the problems I had as I would have the same reaction to that as I had to Taxotere as they are from the same family of drugs and work in the same way. Have you had a dose of Taxol yet? You might want to speak to your Onc about the possibility of a PICC line if you are having problems with your veins. Lots of ladies have them and they seem to swear by them!

I wish you all the best with your treatment. Please PM me if you want to discuss further.

Hope everything goes well

Joan xx

hi i had fec and taxotere, when i was fist dx in sept2010 with ibc, i had alot of diarreoa nutropena, blood transfusion, you name it i had it but i did get a very good responce completly shrunk my tumors, but now i am on taxol for lung mets been on it for 15 weeks now weekly, i have had no side affects and i feel really well, plus its shrunk my lung mets considerably.
all the best with your treatment
lorraine x

Hi mateface67
I had my mastectomy at the end of November and started 4 FEC in January, then should have had 4 Taxotere. I’m in Norway so I assumed it was just a different regime to the 3 of each which most people seem to get in the UK. After bad side effects with first Taxotere (itching, temperature, mouth sores) my onc changed me to weekly Taxol. I am to have 9 of these to replace the 3 missing Taxotere. She says that both drugs are in the same family, the taxanes made from yew trees and that they work on cancer cells in a similar manner. I was concerned that I wasn’t getting what they had originally planned but she assures me that this is just as effective but that side effects should be less. I have had 6 Taxol treatments so far and can confirm that the SEs are much less.
Since treatment no. 5 my big toe nails have looked bruised and are a bit sore when I put on shoes and my finger tips and nails are beginning to be uncomfy too. However, I’ve just got to get through 3 more before we go on to the wonders of radiotherapy :slight_smile:
Not sure about the veins problem as I’ve been very fortunate that mine have behaved well so far. I drink masses of water before, during and after every treatment. Plus they always put a hot water bottle wrapped in a pillow case on the vein for about 5 mins before they put the needle in. I then make sure I apply pressure over the spot as soon as the needle is removed - apparently it helps to stop bruising and so far I’ve had very little bruising.