How long after surgery can you wait before starting chemotherapy or radiation? I had an excisional biopsy on 19th October then a partial mastectomy and lymph node dissection on 17th November. The results showed IDC 0.5cm in excisional biopsy and residual tumour 0.7cm in the mastectomy. Clear margins, no lymph node involvement (0/13), grade 2. The oncologist has recommended chemotherapy, radiation and tamoxifen - I was hoping only for radiation and tamoxifen so have asked for oncotype test. The results will take 3-4 weeks to come back. Can I afford to wait that long before starting radiation or chemotherapy or should I ask if I can have radiation then switch to chemo if oncotype comes back high?
I wish I could answer that question for you. If there are any of our drs. out there looking in, if you could comment, I'd appreciate it.
This is a discussion you should have with your oncologist. He/she knows everything that is involved in your health, and as I've heard before, cancer is like a snowflake - no two are alike.
We are here to be supportive to you and try to answer whatever questions you have. Need a shoulder? I'm great at that. Have questions about people's experiences with side effects, or certain chemos or radiation protocols? We are great at that too! Just don't want to try to give you answers about something that your personal dr. is best equipped to answer.
Breast Cancer Community Leader
What I was told is this. I had chemo first and then surgery, a mastectomy with lymph node removal, and then radiation. You can start the radiation when you are all healed up and that differs with different people. For me it was about six weeks. There cannot be any open areas that have not healed, or from those holes that you get from the drainage tubes.
A Chris said, this is a question for your Oncologist. Evidently since the Onco test was OK with him/her then the wait would be acceptable. If you didn't want to do Chemo, did you have a serious discussion with the Onc. regarding your reasons for not wanting to do Chrmo. ?? This isn't a recommendation but you do have the right to accept or refuse any treatment. As a rule treatment plans are geared to your particular case and for your best interest.
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