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Clair asked...

How does chemotherapy work?

Tags: cancer

My mother in law has had 3 sessions of chemotherapy and now has to wait 3 months before they decide what to do next why the long wait?

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The answer

It’s difficult to answer this question without knowing the specifics of your mother-in-law’s cancer or the kind of chemotherapy she is having. Sometimes there is a gap after an initial course of chemotherapy to allow doctors to judge how well the patient has responded to the first course, and whether the next course of treatment should be with the same combination of drugs or a different one. In some cases, a single course of chemotherapy may be enough to put the patient into remission, with no remaining sign of the cancer. This would mean that while the patient still needs to be followed up very carefully, they do not need another course of treatment. Chemotherapy involved major treatment, and sometimes there is a gap after a first course of treatment to allow the patient to recover from the side-effects. Sometimes courses of treatment depend on the clinical trials which have been done with a given combination of drugs, which determine how long to leave between courses of treatment.

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