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Avastin Patient Stories

Gain insight and inspiration by hearing the stories of other Avastin patients.


Click below to read a patient story or watch a patient video.

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Estelle

Patient with advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

You can learn more about Estelle's experiences with Avastin by watching the video above, or reading about her story below.

Estelle's story

Narrator:

You’re about to hear from Estelle, a lung cancer patient who shares her experiences taking Avastin (bevacizumab). Throughout Estelle’s story, you’ll hear important safety information about Avastin. Experiences with Avastin may differ between individuals, so it’s important to be informed about possible side effects.

Narrator with text on screen:

Avastin is approved to treat:

Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Avastin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is approved to treat advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in people who have not received chemotherapy for their advanced disease.

Possible serious side effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So it's important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Wounds that don't heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor

Estelle:

Diagnosed With Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Hi, I’m Estelle. I am married with two children.

I love being with my family, cooking with my family, being with my children and family and friends.

My Diagnosis

The first symptoms that I had, were very strangely, just a pain in my side, and I thought I had pulled a muscle.

I started to go to a massage therapist for some pain relief, and that didn’t help me. So then I went to a chiropractor and, again, no relief.

Estelle Diagnosed with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

He recommended that I have a chest x-ray done. Uh... when that happened, they did see something, and that’s when the ball started rolling very quickly. They recommended that I go to a pulmonologist, and he agreed that there was something there that they needed to investigate, so we ordered scans from that point, lung biopsies, liver biopsies.

So that’s when I was diagnosed with the stage four lung cancer.

Treatment with Avastin® (bevacizumab) plus paclitaxel and carboplatin

The doctor thought the treatment that would be best for me, was a combination of carboplatin, paclitaxel, and Avastin.

So I would go every three weeks, get my Avastin treatment, I’d stay home one day, 'cause I’d feel a little tired the next day.

My doctor told me the side effects, you know, varied per patient while on Avastin.

Narrator with text on screen:

Just as there can be benefits to taking Avastin, there can be risks as well. Earlier you heard the most serious safety information for Avastin. Here are some other possible serious side effects you should know about.

Other possible serious side effects

  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Working with Your Doctor

Estelle:

I stayed on that regimen for three rounds before we did our first scan.

I couldn’t even believe the results were as they were, after three months of taking the treatments that I had. My husband was there. I put him on the phone with my doctor, and we just celebrated.

You have to be your own advocate, and you have to speak up, and that’s why it’s so important to research and look into things, and have questions. I would always write questions down in a book, and he would laugh at me, because he knew I was coming in with my book, but even the silliest questions aren’t silly. If you have them, ask them and get answers.

The book was so important because, when you get in there, there might be test results you’re getting, or just different things are going on. And it’s very nerve wracking, and you’re getting a lot of information, so to be able to write it down, my questions, as well as information he was giving me, just helped entirely to keep everything in order and manage it better.

Finding Support from Others

I think going online for support worked for me, because, A, you’re not feeling that well, so you’re not going out as much as you wanted to. And, B, they knew what you were going through, and- and they were home, too, so it just was a great way to, in one step, talk to somebody.

What advice I would give to someone that was just diagnosed with lung cancer is, let yourself have the feelings, so cry, scream, whatever you need to do, just get ready to fight, and there’s hope, and there’s treatments out there, and you can do this.

Where I Am Now

I never, ever uh…take anything for granted any more. I live every minute, every day to the fullest.

I do take it day by day, and that’s okay. And I look forward to being here at my children, and enjoying my life with my family.

Narrator:

If you found this patient’s story inspiring, please watch some of the other patient videos on this site.

Narrator with text on screen:

Every patient’s experience is different. You should always seek out a physician’s opinion regarding your own treatment plan.

Remember, though, that every patient’s experience is different. You should always seek out a physicians’ opinion regarding your own treatment plan.

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Talk to your doctor if you are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant, or think you are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman's ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm your baby and is therefore not recommended

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Product Information, including Serious Side Effects, for additional important safety information.

Michael

Patient with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC)

You can learn more about Michael's experiences with Avastin by watching the video above, or reading about his story below.

Michael's story

Narrator:

You are about to hear from Michael, a metastatic colorectal cancer patient who shares his experiences taking Avastin (or bevacizumab). Throughout his story, you’ll hear important safety information about Avastin. Experiences with Avastin may differ between individuals, so it’s important to be informed about possible side effects.

Narrator with text on screen:

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) Avastin is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for:

  • First- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy
  • Second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin

Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

There are some possible serious side effects of Avastin you should know about.

Possible serious side effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So it's important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Wounds that don't heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor

Michael
Husband, chef, poet

Michael:

My name is Michael. I’m from Pembroke Pines, Florida. And- I’m 57 years old. I’m married to my love, Colleen, for over 31 years.

We married fairly young. And before we knew it it was 31 years.

We pretty much know what each other’s thinking. We do everything together.

When Colleen’s out of the house- I’ll cook.

As far as cooking- there are certain things that I enjoy putting together…vegetables of all colors of the spectrum.

The cooking together gives me a newfound freedom.

I do write poetry occasionally. I have written different-- poetries to Colleen. Because to me the-- the writing of poetry comes from my heart and my soul.

Michael's Diagnosis

Sometime in April a while back I had some issues…and just felt strange…it didn’t go away.

I went to see my primary care physician. And she suggested to me that I take a colonoscopy. At that time I had no clue even what a colonoscopy was.

He got to the sigmoid area which is the lower part o' the colon and he said, "This does-- this is not supposed to be there – I would say it’s colon cancer." So I went through the procedure. Didn’t think much of it.

But I thought much of it the next day when I received the call… from other folks that said I had adenocarcinoma. And then they proceeded to tell me that I had colon cancer, they did not say what stage. But it was very relevant that I come in as soon as possible.

I-- I think we all go through different scenarios in our-- in our mind. And-- and we go through different ways of being able to deal with when we’re told bad news.

All I wanted to do was just go on with my life, not even thinking about the severity of-- of the problem, not even really believing that it was cancer.

And this was my way of going through just being told that I had cancer. I know when I-- called Colleen-- pretty much the phone went dead.

But I did tell her, "It-- it’s gonna be okay," even though I didn’t know it was gonna be okay.

Well, that was just the beginning of my journey.

Fast forward, the day came…

…I was told that I had metastatic colorectal cancer.

Treating with Avastin and chemotherapy

Once I did start chemotherapy I started with 5-FU and Avastin.

Avastin is approved to treat mCRC for first- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil—based chemotherapy. Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

The Avastin I was told is not…chemotherapy.

It could shrink the tumor and it can stop the blood flow to the tumor.

That’s the type of medication I wanted on my team.

Continuing with Avastin after cancer progressed

When I had a reoccurrence of cancer which progressed in my left liver lobe, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my oncologist.

And so I said, "Well, what options do I have? Because this is this is my second time.”

He mentioned some chemotherapy. But Avastin came up because I was on it previously.

Avastin is approved to treat mCRC for second-line treatment when used withfluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin. Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

And I can honestly say…

…I believed in what I was taking…I believed in Avastin …

I have been on Avastin throughout my journey with colorectal cancer.

And I- I won’t say that I ever wanted to quit because I always felt that whatever I was taking- chemo-wise and Avastin was always helping me.

Narrator with text on screen:

Other possible serious side effects

  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of side effects.

Advice for others with cancer

Michael:

What I would like to share… is that whatever level you’re at with your therapy… don’t give up.

If you don’t feel that you’re getting the proper information… talk to your oncologist.

But you have to press forward. You have to believe. You have to give it your best.

Narrator with text on screen:

If you found this story inspiring, please watch the other patient videos featured on this site.

It’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to treatment. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your own treatment plan.

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Talk to your doctor if you are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant, or think you are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman's ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm your baby and is therefore not recommended

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Product Information, including Serious Side Effects, for additional important safety information.

Rob

Patient with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC)

You can learn more about Rob's experiences with Avastin by watching the video above, or reading about his story below.

Rob's story

Narrator:

You are about to hear from Rob, a metastatic colorectal cancer patient who shares his experiences taking Avastin (or bevacizumab). Throughout his story, you’ll hear important safety information about Avastin. Experiences with Avastin may differ between individuals, so it’s important to be informed about possible side effects.

Narrator with text on screen:

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) Avastin is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for:

  • First- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy
  • Second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin

Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

Possible serious side effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So it's important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Wounds that don't heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor

Rob
Husband, father, musician

Rob:

My name is Rob.

I was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer.

I'm 41 years old, and I live in San Diego, California.

Paulette's one of the rare-- San Diego natives that I've run into, We met about 11 years ago now and got married a few years ago and have a four-year-old daughter named Ruby.

Paulette has been my rock in this entire treatment for cancer. She's always been there.

She's a great foundation for me.

The importance of music

Most of my drumming is on original music. I do a little bit of cover work, but for the most part, it's all original.

I've been playin' for 20 years now.

Most of my musical influences, I would say, are more towards the underground, indie rock.

One of my friends had-- his wife was diagnosed with...cancer. And he told me that the most important thing that he felt part of her treatment was to keep doing music. It was a therapy, in a way.

And-- I kept playing music even through my first treatments.

On being diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer

I...got into see my doctor after...having stomach issues. He decided to do a flexible sigmoidoscopy. That's when they found a tumor in my rectum... and it looked cancerous.

So-- made an appointment with an oncologist. And that's when they said I was stage four.

It was just a blow to the head. You can't-- it's un-- indescribable, that feeling.

I mean, you go from being what you think is healthy to, suddenly, you're like this is not good.

Everything sorta changes perspective pretty quickly.

We sat in the physician's room for a while. And...decided that we were gonna do whatever we needed to do to fight this.

Treating with Avastin and chemotherapy

My oncologist talked about how the treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer was to go through a regimen of FOLFOX with Avastin.

Avastin is designed to help shrink the tumors.

Folfox is a type of IV 5-FU-based chemotherapy

Knowing that made it feel like I was in good hands.

Narrator with text on screen:

Here are some other possible serious side effects you should know about.

Other possible serious side effects

  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

Rob:

There's a patient support program called Avastin CARES that connects people with...information about the drug.

The information from Avastin CARES is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

Sign up for Avastin Cares on Avastin.com

And I think anybody that's interested in Avastin should find about as much information as they can about it. And find other people that are currently on it and get a good idea of what's out there and what it can do.

Advice for others

The advice I'd give people that are-- in my current situation is to... find a physician that you're comfortable with, an oncologist that you trust. And follow their advice.

And my outlook has been when I wake up in the morning, if I feel good, just go with it and not to worry about how I might feel in a couple of days, or how I might feel in a couple of months. And if the treatment's working, then I'm going in the right direction.

Narrator with text on screen:

If you found this story inspiring, please watch the other patient videos featured on this site.

See other patient stories on Avastin.com

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Talk to your doctor if you are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant, or think you are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman's ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm your baby and is therefore not recommended

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Product Information, including Serious Side Effects, for additional important safety information.

Juanita

Juanita

Patient with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC)

Learn more about Juanita and her experiences with Avastin.

Juanita is a metastatic colorectal cancer patient who shares her experiences taking Avastin (or bevacizumab). Throughout her story, you’ll see important safety information about Avastin. Experiences with Avastin may differ between individuals, so it’s important to be informed about possible side effects.

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) Avastin is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for:

  • First- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy
  • Second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin

Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

About Juanita

Fighting cancer, with her family by her side.

After working as a caregiver in Detroit for almost 3 decades, Juanita found herself in an unusual situation. Soon, it would be her sister and closest friends taking care of her when Juanita was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer. Juanita’s doctor prescribed Avastin along with IV 5-FU–based chemotherapy to treat the disease.

At first, Juanita didn’t know how to cope. But with the positive results from treatment, together with the support of her sister Georgia and a take-charge attitude, Juanita was able to raise her spirits. And like a true caregiver herself, Juanita continues to raise the spirits of those around her.

Possible Serious Side Effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So it's important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Wounds that don't heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor
I made my decision. And I’m not giving up.

How Avastin combination therapy helped Juanita

Juanita’s oncologist introduced her to Avastin, which he explained works differently than chemotherapy: it may help to starve tumors and prevent them from growing.

After discussing her options with her doctor, Juanita began treatment. She started taking Avastin every 2 weeks in addition to IV 5-FU–based chemotherapy. Juanita’s results were positive. Her tumors shrank.

My doctor showed me the difference before Avastin and after—and my tumors really shrank.

The right team makes all the difference

Juanita comes from a tight-knit family that has been by her side since day one. In fact, her sister serves as her primary caregiver, and Juanita’s daughter coordinates the efforts of Juanita’s friends—whether it’s driving her to her infusion, taking her out for dinner, or even heading to the casino.

But even with her “golden girls”—Juanita’s nickname for her support team—she still believes in taking an active role in her care. She asks her doctors plenty of questions, and won’t leave until she understands the plan of action. Juanita also recommends doing the research to find doctors you’ll be comfortable with.

Get the information and support you need every step of the way.

Join Avastin Cares, a free program designed to provide you with Clear Answers, Resources, Education, and Support.

Learn more

I love my oncology team. It makes it much easier to deal with everything knowing they’re with me.
Don’t let cancer stop you. Keep trying to do some of the things that you’ve always done and enjoyed.

Juanita’s tips for staying positive

Juanita will be the first to admit that living with cancer is life changing. But she’ll also be the first to remind you not to give cancer too much power.

Here are some of Juanita’s tips for staying positive. We hope you find them helpful too.

  1. Read a good book.

    Some uplifting poetry, daily devotions, or a good story can help get you a little more upbeat.

  2. Put on a kettle of tea.

    Light some candles with incense or aromatherapy. Take a hot bath and relax.

  3. Let your feelings out.

    We all have good days and bad days. If you realize you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, say you’re sorry. They’ll understand.

  4. Talk things over in a support group.

    Saying what’s on your mind can make a big difference.

  5. Put on some music.

    Kick off your shoes. And start dancing.

Juanita knows the importance of sticking with her treatment

Because Juanita’s side effects were manageable and her results were encouraging, she was able to continue taking Avastin. And that’s been important, because Juanita is committed to doing everything she can to continue her fight. Juanita has a great working relationship with the team of doctors and nurses who have been by her side throughout her treatment. Juanita knows that patients should keep taking Avastin, even if they:

I was happy with my progress from taking Avastin, and my oncologist was as well.
  • Want a break from treatment
  • See that the tumor has responded to treatment
  • Change chemotherapy treatment because of side effects

Learning more about Avastin

If you found this story inspiring, please watch some of the patient videos featured on this site.

Other possible serious side effects

  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Talk to your doctor if you are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant, or think you are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman's ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm your baby and is therefore not recommended

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.

It’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to treatment. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your own treatment plan.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Product Information, including Serious Side Effects, for additional important safety information.

Important Safety Information

What is Avastin approved for?

Glioblastoma (GBM) Avastin is approved to treat glioblastoma (GBM) when taken alone in adult patients whose cancer has progressed after prior treatment (recurrent or rGBM). The effectiveness of Avastin in rGBM is based on tumor response. Currently, no data have shown whether or not Avastin improves disease-related symptoms or survival in people with rGBM.

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) Avastin is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for:

  • First- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy
  • Second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin

Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Avastin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is approved to treat advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in people who have not received chemotherapy for their advanced disease.

Metastatic Kidney Cancer (mRCC) Avastin, used with interferon alfa, is approved to treat metastatic kidney cancer (mRCC).

Advanced Cervical Cancer (CC) Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan, is approved to treat persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cancer of the cervix.

Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer (prOC) Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan, is approved to treat platinum-resistant recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer in women who received no more than two prior chemotherapy treatments.

Possible serious side effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So it's important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Wounds that don't heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor

Other possible serious side effects

  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Talk to your doctor if you are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant, or think you are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman's ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm your baby and is therefore not recommended

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Product Information, including Serious Side Effects, for additional important safety information.

Questions about Avastin?
Call our nurse support line 7 days a week: 1-877-428-2784

Glioblastoma (GBM) Avastin is approved to treat glioblastoma (GBM) when taken alone in adult patients whose cancer has progressed after prior treatment (recurrent or rGBM). The effectiveness of Avastin in rGBM is based on tumor response. Currently, no data have shown whether or not Avastin improves disease-related symptoms or survival in people with rGBM.

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) Avastin is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for:

  • First- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy
  • Second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin

Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Avastin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is approved to treat advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in people who have not received chemotherapy for their advanced disease.

Metastatic Kidney Cancer (mRCC) Avastin, used with interferon alfa, is approved to treat metastatic kidney cancer (mRCC).

Advanced Cervical Cancer (CC) Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan, is approved to treat persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cancer of the cervix.

Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer (prOC) Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan, is approved to treat platinum-resistant recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer in women who received no more than two prior chemotherapy treatments.

Important Safety Information

What is Avastin approved for?

Glioblastoma (GBM) Avastin is approved to treat glioblastoma (GBM) when taken alone in adult patients whose cancer has progressed after prior treatment (recurrent or rGBM). The effectiveness of Avastin in rGBM is based on tumor response. Currently, no data have shown whether or not Avastin improves disease-related symptoms or survival in people with rGBM.

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) Avastin is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for:

  • First- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy
  • Second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin

Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Avastin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is approved to treat advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in people who have not received chemotherapy for their advanced disease.

Metastatic Kidney Cancer (mRCC) Avastin, used with interferon alfa, is approved to treat metastatic kidney cancer (mRCC).

Advanced Cervical Cancer (CC) Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan, is approved to treat persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cancer of the cervix.

Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer (prOC) Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan, is approved to treat platinum-resistant recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer in women who received no more than two prior chemotherapy treatments.

Possible serious side effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So it's important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Wounds that don't heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor

Other possible serious side effects

  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Talk to your doctor if you are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant, or think you are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman's ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm your baby and is therefore not recommended

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Product Information, including Serious Side Effects, for additional important safety information.

Questions about Avastin? 7 days a week nurse support line: 1‑877‑428‑2784

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