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Saturday, March 05, 2011 Brenda, Community Member, asks

Q: How soon after chemo can you wait for radiation treatment?

I had a lumpectomy with 11 nodes removed (two showed cancer). Next comes a every

21 day,4 cycle chemo regimen, then 12 cycles (once weekly) of Taxol treatment. Then radiation. How long can I wait to begin the radiation treatment? Thanks!

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/ 5/11 5:31pm

Brenda, your doctor will want you to keep the pace of your treatment going as quickly as possible, within reason. Generally speaking, you'll wait to begin radiation until your doctor feels you're up to it. Personally, I started radiation 5 weeks post-chemo, but that was probably a week longer than usual, since otherwise it would have started right around Christmas; sometimes holiday schedules do interfere with treatment!

 

Bottom line – speak to your doctor now about a possible radiation start date. If there's something you want to do in between (a business trip, a vacation), let him/her know; it can probably be worked around.

 

Good luck with your chemo; if you haven't already, you might want to read our chemo series. And come back here anytime for help or support - we're here for you. PJH

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Brenda, Community Member
3/ 6/11 3:08pm

Thanks for answering my post about how long I can wait before I start radiation treatment. I wanted to go on vacation before I start the radiation if possible.

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/ 6/11 7:55am

The doctors will not start radiation until your blood counts are back to normal.  The time that takes depends on the chemo, the dosing cycle, and your own body's response.  For me it was three weeks.  If you want to delay to do something special between treatments, talk to your doctors.  Mine worked with me to make an annual beach vacation work out after surgery.  If you are looking at the calendar trying to figure out when you will be done, remember that radiation is usually five days a week.  I miscounted when figuring when I'd finish radiation because I was thinking daily, as in seven days a week.

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Brenda, Community Member
3/ 6/11 3:03pm

Thank you, for answering my post about how long to wait for radiation treatment. I plan to go on vacation this summer and wanted to know if I could go when my chemo is finished.

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/ 6/11 4:29pm

You should be able to work that out.  Just check with your doctor before you put down a deposit.  You will face radiation with more energy after some time restoring body and soul with a vacation.

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Brenda, Community Member
3/ 6/11 3:03pm

Thank you, for answering my post about how long to wait for radiation treatment. I plan to go on vacation this summer and wanted to know if I could go when my chemo is finished.

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By Brenda, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/06/11, First Published: 03/05/11