LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Cancer is a word no one ever wants to hear being thrown at them.

Eric Tope, 43, and battling stage four colorectal cancer.

“It’s scary because the first thing you think of is well how much time do, I have left,” Tope said.

8 News Now spoke with him as he was getting chemotherapy Tuesday at Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

“None of us like to come in here and do these treatments but it saves our lives,” Tope said.

Eric Tope, 43, battling stage four colorectal cancer (KLAS)

The chemotherapy he is receiving is a lifesaving drug that Tope now has to be on the waiting list for because of a national shortage.

The drugs would normally be delivered every two days but now there is a three to four-week wait which means delaying treatment for patients.

“It’s a scary thought knowing you can’t have access to that drug,” Tope said.

“Never once did I think in this country did I think we would have to ration therapy drugs,” Dr. Rupesh Parikh, an oncologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers said.

While patients of Dr. Parikh are battling cancer, he is left with a different battle where he has to choose which of his patients can get the drugs that are in stock.

“We pick and choose by the level of severity pick and choose by the disease state sometimes there’s not a right answer,” Dr. Parikh said.

“What’s the response you get,” Victoria asked.

“Surprise, shock, anger sometimes,” Dr. Parikh responded.

Dr. Parikh said they try to order enough of the chemo drugs but some of the companies that make them aren’t making enough or dealing with a low-profit margin.

Eric Tope, 43, and battling stage four colorectal cancer (KLAS)

“If there is no one making these drugs then what do we do, do we go to drugs that are more toxic? Potentially we may have to do that,” he said.

As for the many patients like Tope, the future is unknown.

“We are all trying to fight,” Tope said. “You have to accept what the outcomes could possibly be.”

Dr. Parikh said even if manufacturers start making the chemo drugs it could take another five to six months to find relief.

He said it is known what the shortage could do to a patient’s cancer prognosis.

The American Cancer Society is urging medical professionals to find safer alternatives, so their treatments aren’t delayed.