When is the best time to start chemotherapy?
Doctors recommend starting treatment as soon as possible after breast cancer is diagnosed. Timely treatment reduces the risk that the cancer will spread and increases the chances for survival.
Do you start chemo right away?
Most people want to start treatment right away. They worry that the extra time taken to do tests or make decisions will take up precious time that could be spent fighting the cancer. Cancer treatment should start very soon after diagnosis, but for most cancers, it won’t hurt to wait a few weeks to begin treatment.
How do you know if you need chemotherapy?
Your doctor might suggest chemotherapy if there is a chance that your cancer might spread in the future. Or if it has already spread. Sometimes cancer cells break away from a tumour. They may travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
Is chemotherapy needed for stage 1?
Chemotherapy is usually not part of the treatment regimen for earlier stages of cancer. Stage 1 is highly treatable, however, it does require treatment, typically surgery and often radiation, or a combination of the two.
What comes first surgery or chemo?
Chemotherapy is sometimes given before surgery (known as neoadjuvant therapy or preoperative chemotherapy) to shrink larger cancers. This may: Allow the surgeon the best chance of removing the cancer completely. Enable the surgeon to remove only the cancer, rather than the entire breast.
How many chemo cycles are normal?
During a course of treatment, you usually have around 4 to 8 cycles of treatment. A cycle is the time between one round of treatment until the start of the next. After each round of treatment you have a break, to allow your body to recover.
How many hours does chemo take?
How long will each session of my chemotherapy treatment take? Chemotherapy treatment varies in length and frequency and depends on the individual treatment plan prescribed by your doctor. Some last as long as three or four hours, while others may only take a half-hour.
How will I feel after my first chemo treatment?
The day after your first treatment you may feel tired or very fatigued. Plan on resting, as this gives your body the chance to respond to the chemotherapy, and begin the recovery cycle. Remember that chemo affects every cell in your body. Stay well-hydrated by drinking lots of water or juice.
How quickly does chemo work?
Some people feel the effects of chemo right away, but for others, it takes a day or two. Not all chemo drugs have the same side effects.
Does chemo shorten life expectancy?
During the 3 decades, the proportion of survivors treated with chemotherapy alone increased (from 18% in 1970-1979 to 54% in 1990-1999), and the life expectancy gap in this chemotherapy-alone group decreased from 11.0 years (95% UI, 9.0-13.1 years) to 6.0 years (95% UI, 4.5-7.6 years).
How much does a round of chemo cost?
Medication is only part of the problem. Many who are diagnosed in later stages need chemotherapy. Again, the costs can vary considerably, but a basic round of chemo can cost $10,000 to $100,000 or more. Additionally, many people need medication and chemotherapy at the same time.