• How long after initial chemo/radiation treatment did you have surgery?

    Asked by mabrown on Monday, April 7, 2014

    How long after initial chemo/radiation treatment did you have surgery?

    My surgery has been pushed back to May 20th. The surgeon thought the best time would be 8-9 weeks after I finished chemo/radiation treatment. How long did you all wait after initial treatment for surgery?

    21 Answers from the Community

    21 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      This will depend on what type of cancer, where, and the plan of attack the doctor is taking. For some, like me, I had surgery first, then the treatments. In a lot of cases they want to shrink the tumor first with treatment, then do surgery, so that will depend on individual cases. I'm interested in seeing the different time frames from others and why the doctors chose those dates. This is another way we can educate each other by sharing our experiences.

      In your case, why did he think that was the best plan?

      over 7 years ago
    • mabrown's Avatar

      I did have chemo/radiation first to shrink the tumor. Then I will have surgery. Then I will have another round of chemo. I've just have heard that some use the 4-12 weeks from the beginning of treatment while others (like mine) calculate it from the end of treatment. Very interested to hear what others say!

      over 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar

      I went off of chemo for about 3.5 weeks before my surgery, I was told that they had to wait for my white blood count to be back to normal and for me to get the chemo completely out of my system.
      If you had chemo and radiation at the same time it does make sense that have to wait a longer time for you to recover and get your WBC back up.
      You can probably talk it over with your surgeon and your oncologist because if you want the surgery sooner they might be able to monitor you closely to see if you are strong enough yet, and then push up the surgery date if possible. Good luck and god bless!

      over 7 years ago
    • mabrown's Avatar

      The surgeon said at the soonest 4 weeks after end of treatment. But that there has been better outcomes with patients who wait until 8-9 weeks. And they want to do surgery before scar tissue starts to form.

      over 7 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar

      I has 6 weeks of pre-surgery radiation & chemo to shrink my tumor. That finished right after Thanksgiving. I was supposed to have the surgery at the beginning of February, which would have been 8 weeks after treatment, but had some lung issues, which required some testing & a surgical biopsy, so we had to wait ANOTHER 4 weeks after that to have the LAR surgery. I remember my surgeon saying that he didn't want to do surgery right on top of surgery, but that 12 weeks post treatment was getting close to the end of the ideal window. Hope that helps.

      over 7 years ago
    • mabrown's Avatar

      Thanks for your input @lilymadeline and @LauraJo! Both of you have just confirmed what I've been told. Best wishes to you both!

      over 7 years ago
    • CrazyHarry's Avatar

      I had about 7 weeks after initial chemo/rad for my rectal cancer.

      over 7 years ago
    • dallasgirl's Avatar

      Hi there! I finished chemo/radiation on January 6th and had my surgery on March 18th. So, long enough to let the radiation do every last bit of work possible before the concern of scar tissue set in. I was fortunate in that my tumor was shrunk to almost nothing and the effected lymph nodes were obliterated.

      over 7 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar

      And the very same to you, MABrown!

      over 7 years ago
    • booboo's Avatar

      Hello MaBrown. I had surgery about 7-8 weeks after I finished radiation and chemo. My doctors wanted my blood levels to rebound and for me to gain some strength before surgery. After surgery, they waited 6-7 weeks before starting the post-op chemo. This was, again, to allow me to heal. What your doctor is proposing sounds right to me. I hope it all goes well. Good luck to you.

      over 7 years ago
    • Juddmaster's Avatar

      Had it before treatment. Stage IV colon with mets. Sigmoid was ruptured and spilling into my body when they found it. All through my abdomen removed eight lymph nodes and my Sigmoid was removed. After I healed up, it was a Folfox treatment.

      over 7 years ago
    • Joeyb's Avatar

      I had surgery 8 weeks after my last systemic chemo because the one chemo med slowed wound healing and they wanted to be sure that it was out of my system before doing surgery.

      over 7 years ago
    • cindywho's Avatar

      I waited 6 weeks to have my surgery for rectal cancer after my treatments were done. Good luck!!

      over 7 years ago
    • papabill's Avatar

      Like many others who responded, in my case after my initial round of chemo/radiation for Stage III colorectal cancer to shrink the tumor, I waited six weeks before the surgery. So as you have read, while the amount of time in many may vary, it is only mostly by a week or two. The time between ending the chemo/radiation and the surgery itself is proven sufficient enough to allow for you to rebound and be ready for the surgery. Keep the faith.

      over 7 years ago
    • rokjhn's Avatar

      Radiated skin\tissue doesn't mend well so it can vary depending upon the severity and duration of your radiation treatments. My surgeon waited 30 days after my last radiation treatment to allow some healing in order to avoid skin grafts or flaps. (Stage IIIb MFH Sarcoma in lower extremity)

      over 7 years ago
    • rkds1027's Avatar

      I finished my chemo/radiation on February 27th. The surgeon then wanted to wait 30 days and then scope me again so that he could see how much the tumor had shrunk and exactly where it was located (another doctor performed the first colonoscopy). Once he had that all figured out, he just told me to call the office and schedule as soon as possible. My surgery is going to be April 30th.
      Dallasgirl, you had your surgery on March 18th - just a few weeks ago. How has your recovery been going and - if you don't mind me asking - did you have a colostomy? How are things going with that, if you did?

      over 7 years ago
    • danalgoodman's Avatar

      my son first had surgery, then three weeks later began chemo and radiation, only to have surgery again to de-baulk the damage caused from radiation.

      over 7 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      I had stage IV ovarian cancer with mets. Nine weeks of chemo, five weeks off, then PET/CT scan (no evidence of live cancer cells) and surgery. Chemo restarted again after two weeks.

      Your mileage may vary.

      over 7 years ago
    • azsuper's Avatar

      7 weeks here

      over 7 years ago
    • Lamarcy21's Avatar

      One month from initial chemo-radiation to resection surgery. Oncologist wanted to wait 6-8 weeks, but I was healthy and the surgeon wanted to do it sooner. The surgeon said that the radiation cleaned up the area of the tumor and made surgery neater. He also said sometimes when waiting longer, the tomorrow would begin to regrow. My experience went well. Tumor was almost all gone, no lymph nodes found to be involved except the one and it was fired.I went back on chemo one month after the surgery.

      over 7 years ago
    • MICHAELG's Avatar

      My mom has pancreatic cancer.
      We are in Kentucky.
      She goes to University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center.
      She had 3 months chemotherapy then a few weeks break. Then 6 weeks radiation high dose and chemo.pulks concurrently.
      Now, she waits one month to go back fir CT SCAN and possible whipple surgery

      need prayers

      over 2 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more adenocarcinoma, colorectal cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Adenocarcinoma, Colorectal Cancer page.