When does chemo leave the system?


Question from Carol: How long does it take to get chemo, CMF, out of your system?
Answers - Russell Portenoy It is important to distinguish the direct effects of chemotherapy as it circulates in the body from the long-term effect that can continue after the body has eliminated the chemotherapy through normal metabolic pathways. Most chemotherapy is eliminated from the body fairly quickly, and the fatigue that patients experience after treatment is a prolonged effect that continues long after the chemotherapy is gone. A person should not assume that feeling fatigued means that the chemotherapy is still in the body. As we said before, fatigue has many possible causes and the experience of severe fatigue should be evaluated so that these causes can be identified and treated.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Among the many causes of fatigue, there are hormonal influences that can have a significant effect, including your thyroid gland function. In the evaluation for your fatigue, make sure that this is also checked out.

On Wednesday, March 21, 2001, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Ease Fatigue, Boost Energy. Lillian Nail, Ph.D., R.N., Russel Portenoy, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about ways to manage fatigue and increase energy levels.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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