How much chemo can a body take?

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Question from Chat: How much chemo can a body take? I did 6 treatments of Taxol/carboplatin/CMF adjuvant (every 21 days) and was on Herceptin every week. I also do Aredia monthly. I went into remission for 90 days and the cancer acted up again, so now I was put on Adriamycin only. Next my doctor is talking about Taxotere and Herceptin again. I feel my body is getting beat up from all this chemo. I just want to know how much can a body take?
Answers - Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. You have been down a long road. Your question is a very common one we face. You are in a position where you are now balancing side effects, both long- and short-term, and your desire to continue to be treated.

In general, most drugs can be used until you develop a side effect that you actually know about; for example, numbness from Taxol. Adriamycin can cause heart problems as you get more and more of the drug. So, in this case, as you get more and more Adriamycin, you may need to stop receiving the drug. You may want to talk to your doctor about a break from chemotherapy if you are experiencing bad side effects.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Chemotherapy Updates featured Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about advances in chemotherapy treatment: different types of drugs and regimens, how to reduce or eliminate unpleasant side effects, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2002.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of 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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