Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Time Between Surgery and Chemo
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Questions posted in the Breast Cancer Forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics include Breast Biopsy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Lumps, Lumpectomy, Lymph node dissection, Lymphedema, Mammograms, Mastectomy, Radiation Therapy, Reconstruction, Self Breast Exam, and Surgery.

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Time Between Surgery and Chemo

When does the time window end for maximum benefit of chemo after lumpectomy? My research has shown that it is most beneficial 3 to 4 weeks after surgery. Thanks.
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Dear avidhiker:  It is unknown how long one can wait after surgery and still acheive benefit from chemotherapy.  Most of the clinical trials demonstrating a benefit to postoperative chemotherapy have required that chemotherapy be started within about 12 weeks of the final surgical procedure.
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I had my surgery locally but decided I wanted a second opinion at a Medical Center and chose to take my chemo there.  By the time I had had my surgery, had a second opinion with a breast cancer surgeon (I had lumpectomy and then reexcision of margins and both times were told "we got clean margins" only to find on post op visit that even the last time we didn't get clean margins) and then got to the oncologist, he told me I absolutely could not wait any longer to start chemo. He told me I was very close to the point that they would not do chemo and that was around six weeks after surgery.  It does make a difference.  Have you started chemo?
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I went for my first cycle on Tuesday, but it had to be aborted since I had a severe allergic reaction to the Taxotere. Now I need a port a cath inserted because the oncologist changed the regimen from CT6X to AC4X.  If this can be done prior to 8/1, I'll begin then.  I have to get this over with already. I need to move on!
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Sorry that happened to you.  I had the AC every two weeks.  I was scheduled for 6 tx but ended up with 4 which oncologist said was standard and it was Ok.  I would have tried to take the remaining two but while I didn't have allergic reaction I was having abdominal discomfort and was really sore in my right side.  I thought it was gallbladder, they thought ulcer, but everthing check out.  Finally they sent me to my surgeon to see if he felt anything in abdomen and he felt like even though my lab test didn't show it, I had a very mild case of pancreatitis.
I know you want this over with, everyone does.  I expected my life to return to "normal" and I wanted to move on with life.  I guess in all of this that has been the greatest surprise, normal isn't the normal I knew.  I had to follow chemo with 36 radiation treatments and have had a really hard time with fatigue.  I was 60 when diagnosed.  Just try to prepare yourself that you won't be "normal" for a while after stopping the treatments.  These are strong meds and your body needs time to recover.  Good luck, you WILL get through this.   Blessings
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Monday, I'll get the port-a-cath inserted so that I can finally begin my AC regimen on Tuesday.  I am ready.  Thanks for all your blessings.  I am returning same to you and to all of the wonderful, courageous women I have "met" so far on this challenging journey.
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A related discussion, Time to therapy was started.
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A related discussion, Time to therapy was started.
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