Thursday, April 4, 2024

Chemotherapy Overdosing Due To Gene Deficiency

KFF Health News tells the story of a woman named Carol Rosen who was receiving chemotherapy to help fight against breast cancer. Shockingly, she had passed away from being overdosed with too much chemo also known as 5-FU (fluorouracil). The reason this happens to some cancer patients is that their bodies lack a gene that helps aid the metabolism of chemotherapy treatments. Hospitals are supposed to test for the gene that aids in chemotherapy treatments but it was discovered that only 3% of hospitals will test for gene deficiency before administration of 5-FU. 

This article was really shocking to me because I had no idea people could overdose on chemotherapy. Sometimes you just assume that health professionals can’t make mistakes but in this situation, their mistake cost someone their life. Even though this is a rare gene deficiency, testing should be mandated to ensure a situation like this never happens again. If testing won’t be mandated, then more people should be aware of this deficiency so they can ask to be tested before receiving chemotherapy. 

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