• does anyone know how long does it take your immune system to recoop after stopping chemo?

    Asked by jgoat01 on Friday, March 1, 2013

    does anyone know how long does it take your immune system to recoop after stopping chemo?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      There is no standard answer to that. Everyone's immune system is different before chemo as it is different after chemo. My immune system hasn't fully re-cooperated since about 15 years ago when I was diagnosed with auto-immune thyroiditis long before I diagnosed with cancer. Just about everything affects our immune system from a common cold to cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • Debbie's Avatar

      Met with my oncologist this past Monday for the 3 month post chemo check. I asked the same question as you. He said a minimum of another 6 to 12 months. Ugh.....

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      You know, as infants, all bone marrow is capable of making blood cells. However, as adults it is only the flat bones like the pelvis, sternum, vertebrae, and skull that produce them. Chemo does not wipe out the circulating cells, just the stem cells in the marrow because the circulating cells are no longer dividing. So just the stem cells in the marrow slow down from the chemo, and when your blood is tested, it is the cells that should have replaced the circulating cells that are low in quantity. There are only so many of these cells in the marrow, and the immune cells or WBCs have an added extra amount because they are in more demand for infections or allergic reactions. White blood cells are produced in the marrow but do not circulate unless they are needed. Once they are in circulation, they circulate for about 12 hours or so. Of the blood cells it is the cells that are a part of the immune system that are affected the most. A week or so after chemo their count is at their lowest (nadir). Your WBC count usually recovers in about 3 weeks after treatment. With each treatment, the bounceback gets a bit slower, depending on your length of treatments, your age, and any other circumstance. In good time it will return, but until that you can get immune-boosting injections called colony stimulating factors, and it is highly recommended that you avoid contact with any potential infection. Just give it a bit of time and you have to remember that as we age, this too depletes our numbers. My immune system isn't at all like it was in my 20s and I am a nurse, not a patient. I hope this helps clarify your concerns, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      It all depends on you.....

      over 3 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Most plastic surgeons will do a reconstructive surgery a month after chemotherapy, given your blood counts are back to "normal" ( blood test measures T cells, neutrophils and other immune cells that take a beating during treatment).

      My chemo was for breast cancer, and I believe the one month thing is true for other solid tumor cancers. If it's a haematological cancer I would assume it would take longer.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Everyone's experience will vary, but it took about a month before I had a normal ANC (absolute neutrophil count.)

      over 3 years ago

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