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Is it possible to take a break for cancer patients from cancer treatment?

July 7, 2020

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Once a cancer diagnosis is done, the patients ask, ‘How much time do I have to decide for cancer treatment?’ At times, when cancer treatment progresses, patients ask ‘Is it possible to take a break from treatment?’

Typically, when you visit the cancer hospital in Ludhiana, the doctor will recommend you to start the treatment as early as possible or once the diagnosis has been done. It is essential to treat the patients correctly so that the problem is addressed on time.

What to think about if you are planning to take a break from cancer treatment?

Is the treatment curative or non-curative?

  • When the treatment is cured along with adjuvant therapy there is a difference which includes radiation or chemotherapy after the primary surgery. For incurable cancer, the intent is to help patients with symptoms and prolong their life.
  • With curative intent, the schedule needs to be altered as much as possible as they are based on data taken from clinical studies. If the chemo session is non-curative or palliative in intent, then they are flexible so that patient’s goals are achieved to travel or see family.

 

Type and order of treatment makes a difference

First of all, doctors aim to be as quick as possible to get the patients into the care, even if the treatment will not start right away. But, the most common question, which patients ask is ‘After surgery, when I can start the radiation or chemo session?

  • Well, the answer is not clear and it might vary according to the cancer type. The treatment needs to start as soon as it is and recovery is completed following surgery which takes around 6 to 12 weeks.
  • Some of the evidence shows that colorectal and breast cancer chemo sessions after 12 weeks from surgery are less effective but there is no clear timeline when chemo sessions can start. This is where you need to consult the doctor.
  • At times, a person can face difficulty to recover after the surgery, and then the doctor will suggest waiting. Well, patients need to be treated in the best possible way rather than quickly.

 

Cancer patients have more in their life rather than just undergoing treatment

Cancer patients have different things going on in their lives. The doctor needs to work with the patient and allow them to do what’s best for them. If the patients are feeling to travel and get-together, the doctor will allow them but by keeping in mind the nature of the treatment.

 

What about the side-effects?

For some patients, the side effects of radiation or chemo sessions are in excess. The doctor will do their best to understand these issues but every patient is different from others. If the patient is feeling fatigued or vomiting frequently, then the dose will be changed according to their condition.