Cancer can affect almost any part of the body, but some cancers, like those of the breast or colon, affect millions of Americans. Although new therapies continue to be developed each year, chemotherapy and its associated drugs, including Xeloda, continue to be mainstays in the fight against cancer.
What is Xeloda?
Xeloda is the brand name for capecitabine, a chemotherapy drug that is used when fighting cancer in the colon and breast. Xeloda is often the choice of treatment when cancer has spread to lymph nodes from affected origination systems or when cancer has spread and has not been effectively dealt with using conventional chemotherapy medications. As with all chemotherapy drugs, the side effects of Xeloda can be difficult over time and may include diarrhea, heart and lung problems, fatigue, dehydration and liver damage. As a result, you need to ensure that you are advised of all potential complications by your oncologist and care team prior to undergoing therapy using Xeloda. You should also follow up with your oncologist if you experience new or worsening side effects during treatment with Xeloda.
Medicare Coverage of Xeloda
Seniors and people under the age of 65 with certain disabilities who are on Medicare can typically receive coverage for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Because Xeloda is typically administered by a health professional in a physician’s office or clinic, it will not be available as a dispensed medication at a retail pharmacy. This means that it will not fall under coverage by Medicare Part D.
Medicare recipients often receive coverage for Xeloda under either Medicare Part A or Part B. Medicare Part A offers coverage for drugs that are required as part of a an inpatient stay in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Xeloda could be covered by Medicare Part B if the provides the administration of medications takes place in a physician’s office or outpatient clinic when the treatment is deemed medically necessary.
Is Xeloda Only for Cancer That Has Spread?
As mentioned, Xeloda is often used when cancer has spread from the breast or colon to other parts of the body, meaning it is often not a first-line-of-defense drug. This may also affect Medicare coverage for beneficiaries 65 or older, or people under the age of 65 with certain disabilities, because some plans and treatments require that other drugs be utilized first. Your doctor can help you file for an exemption due to urgency of care.