Questions for your doctor

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 If you are being treated for cancer and you want to avoid the consequences of a DPD deficiency related reaction ask your doctors the following questions:

What chemo drug (or combination of drugs) are being prescribed, are any of these 5_FU or florouracil based?  


What are the expected side effects from 5-FU or other prescribed drugs?

What tests are available to help predict my risk for severe toxicity?

Should I be tested to determine if I have low DPD activity?

Does insurance cover the cost of these tests or how much do they cost?

Do you have any experience with a DPD Deficient patient? If so, what was the treatment and outcome?

Your oncologist may recommend keeping a daily journal of your treatment. This is a very important suggestion both during and after treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms related to Fluorouracil toxicity, it will be helpful to you and others-there seems to be virtually no detailed information on the actual severe side effects. Your efforts can help others in this regard.

Questions to Ask Your Insurance Provider:

  • Are any forms or pretesting for DPD Deficiency covered?
  • What are the allowed costs for the testing?
  • If hospitalization is required for severe toxicity, what is covered?
  • Is your company aware of the cost to pretest versus the cost of unexpected hospitalization?

Family Considerations

This could be an endless time of fear and indecision but it should involve family. Balance trust with fact, get a second opinion, take notes and question anything you are uncomfortable with. Rely on your family physician to be an advocate for your safety.