• Do you have blood drawn each time you go to have chemo?

    Asked by LeroyPerseHK on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

    Do you have blood drawn each time you go to have chemo?

    What are they checking for? I'm curious if they are monitoring things like liver function and anything that might detect damage to kidneys or other organs. Is this regularly done? Thanks for your feedback.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar

      They do a blood draw before every chemo infusion. They are checking your red cell, white cells, and platelet counts to ensure that it's safe for you to receive chemo. In addition, they are checking renal and liver function - some of the drugs can cause renal damage, so they want to make sure that your kidney function is good enough too. I've had several times where my chemo was delayed due to extremely low white cell counts (neutrophils). Best wishes.

      over 1 year ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I did get a blood draw before every chemo treatment and I still get blood taken before every oncology appointment 6 + years out. You are correct -- they do check liver and kidney functions. The other big thing they check is white blood count. If white count is too low, chemo is usually postponed and you get a Neulasta or Neupogen injection to stimulate production of white blood cells. I was lucky enough not to have counts drop. I'm still getting the blood checks for liver & kidney function. My type of cancer, endometrial, has a cancer marker in the blood -- they check that level as well. Hope all your blood draws go well and chemo is easy for you. Good luck!

      over 1 year ago
    • LeroyPerseHK's Avatar

      Thank you. I've noticed that they draw blood first thing and then send me back to the waiting room for 10 or 15 minutes, then call me again to start chemo. They never tell me why. I need to start asking more questions.

      over 1 year ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      They do a blood draw for me every time I go to the doctor (which currently is every 3 months, but for a long while was every 2 weeks). For me, they check thyroid function (my treatment caused my thyroid to malfunction), liver and kidney levels, blood glucose, and I forget what else.

      Your levels are obviously where they need to be or they would withhold your treatment until you can get them built back up.


      For some reason, I am rarely given the CBC - I request it from time to time, but my doctor doesn't order it. I get the chemistry (basic metabolic) panel every time. You are probably getting the CBC and maybe the metabolic panel, too.

      I am personally always interested to look at the results of my blood tests. If I were you, I would ask for a copy if you can't access them through an online portal.

      over 1 year ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      1. Just ask.
      2. In treatment, they often watch for the "penias", i.e. low white count, low red cells and low platelets.
      3. Since the marrow is most often affected by treatment, they monitor its condition closely. Of course, they often watch kidney and liver function, as this "stuff" we receive is not easy on any body part. We 'hope' that it is much harder on the cancer.

      about 1 year ago

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