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Old 05-13-2009, 09:50 PM   #1
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


My wife was recently diagnosed with cancer; she had a section of her colon removed and is now starting chemotherapy. She had her first session on Monday.

I was talking to a friend of mine today and he asked if the Doctor told me to pump my septic system on a regular basis while my wife is going through chemo. I told him that she did not mention it; he said another friend of his wife's had cancer and the doctor told him to pump it on a regular basis (how often, I don't know)

My friend said the stuff in the chemo that kills cancer cells will also kill the bacteria in the septic. I will ask the Doctor at our next appointment in about a week in a half; but until then I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this or know of someone that has and what did you/they do?

What he said does seem to make sense to me, I just thought I would throw it out here until I get a chance to ask the Doctor.

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Old 05-14-2009, 09:28 AM   #2
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


There is truth to this. I have included a link that states many of the things that can cause problems with septic systems.

http://74.6.239.67/search/cache?ei=U...icp=1&.intl=us

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Last edited by majakdragon; 05-14-2009 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Seems to make sense, but I haven't heard that before.

I definitely wish your wife the best and a speedy recovery!
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:32 PM   #4
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


I don't believe that cancer is treated with antibiotiocs but the cocktail may include antibiotics. You have to ask your Dr.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:35 PM   #5
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


My wife HAD Breast Cancer. She didn't need Chemo, but I did A BUNCH of reading on the subject.

Chemo drugs kill cells that rapidly reproduce...like the ones that make hair. So it makes sense to me that the drugs could take out a septic system.

I wish your wife and yourself well during this time.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by majakdragon View Post
There is truth to this. I have included a link that states many of the things that can cause problems with septic systems.

http://74.6.239.67/search/cache?ei=U...icp=1&.intl=us
Thanks for the link; there is more to septic systems than I reallized.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:21 PM   #7
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Seems to make sense, but I haven't heard that before.

I definitely wish your wife the best and a speedy recovery!
Thank you for your concern; we're optimistic that all will go well. The treatment is more of a preventative measure based on the stage the cancer was in when they found it, family history, and her relatively young age when it was discovered (for this type of cancer)
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:23 PM   #8
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by hayewe farm View Post
I don't believe that cancer is treated with antibiotiocs but the cocktail may include antibiotics. You have to ask your Dr.
She is given antibiotics as part of her chemo; if I understand it correctly it is not to treat the cancer but to help fight off any infection being her own immune system is down.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:29 PM   #9
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattman View Post
My wife HAD Breast Cancer. She didn't need Chemo, but I did A BUNCH of reading on the subject.

Chemo drugs kill cells that rapidly reproduce...like the ones that make hair. So it makes sense to me that the drugs could take out a septic system.

I wish your wife and yourself well during this time.
I hope your wife is doing well.

I know the chemo for colon cancer is different than it is for breast cancer. We were told she should not loose her hair, it may thin, but she should not loose it all like breast cancer patients.

Thanks for your kind thoughts.

PS I never could figure out how to do multiple quotes in one reply, that is why all the separate replies.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Brokenknee, septics are a simple process, but complicated when you see exactly how they work. I am (somewhat) a believer in the old adage "If it didn't go through you, it shouldn't go through the septic". Thats overkill but has some merit.
I hope your wifes treatments go well, but I do question anyone telling her that she will not see much hair loss. My Mother-in-law is currently undergoing chemo for kidney cancer. She lost most of her hair. Sorry, just a fact of life.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:38 PM   #11
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by majakdragon View Post
Brokenknee, septics are a simple process, but complicated when you see exactly how they work. I am (somewhat) a believer in the old adage "If it didn't go through you, it shouldn't go through the septic". Thats overkill but has some merit.
I hope your wifes treatments go well, but I do question anyone telling her that she will not see much hair loss. My Mother-in-law is currently undergoing chemo for kidney cancer. She lost most of her hair. Sorry, just a fact of life.

Both her surgeon and her oncologist said she should only have "thinning" of the hair and should not loose it all. I told her if she did loose her hair I would have mine all cut off in a show of support for her.

I wish the best for your Mother-in-law.

I have been thinking about the pumping of the septic system, somehow I do not see how this would help. Once the system is pumped you would still need to build up the bacteria to make the system work. Once it is pumped you would not only loose any bacteria you had built up in there, she would still be using it, so she would still be adding the bad chemicals back into a system that is not fully functioning yet.

I want to make it clear that the health of my wife is the top priority; whatever happens to the septic happens. I would not even thought about it but a friend mentioned it to me.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:21 PM   #12
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Products like Riddex are nothing more than active bactreia as is Draincare by Zep for cleaning pipes. They are both enzymes (bacteria by another name) that make septics work. Enzymes actually cling to and eat organic matter. The link I added to my other post stated to pump the tank "more often". Normally, you would only pump every couple years. Once a year would be "more often". Most pumping companies leave some of the liquid in the tank, to start treating the newly added water.
I hope your wife only has thinning hair. I think a lot depends on the amount of chemo used and the person themself.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:28 PM   #13
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


She only has chemo scheduled for six months, once she finishes the chemo I will have the system pumped (if we don't get an early winter). I will also add the Rddex.

I will still ask the doctor at our next appointment.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:37 PM   #14
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


My wife survived incurable breast cancer for 15.5 years, and was off and on chemo for much of that time. We are on a septic system. I didn't do anything differently, and it worked just fine.
I only have the tank pumped out every five years, as is recommended by the state as the only "maintenance" needed. Also, their extensive testing over the years reports that all of those additives are totally unnecessary. Normal usage will put all of the bacteria in the system that is needed.
I have the tank pumped in every year ending in a 0 or 5 to keep it idiot proof. We have never had a problem with our system (32 years).
Best wishes for your wife and you. You have enough to deal with, and if it aint broke don't fix it. Sounds like overkill to me based on my direct experience.
Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:40 AM   #15
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


I totally agree with Mike (as I usually do) since septic systems have been around much longer than all the "fixes' for them. Adding any chemicals would only be a "boost" but really are not necessary.

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