How many times do I need to have chemotherapy?

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The number of chemotherapy cycles will depend on the type and extent of the tumour, the intention of the treatment (curative, preventive or palliative) and the tolerance of each patient. In general, most complete chemotherapy treatments last 3-6 months, and consist of 4-6 treatment cycles, with most cycles lasting about 3 weeks each. Some palliative chemotherapy treatments are administered until toxicity or resistance to treatment appears, and can be extended for over 6 months.  

Sometimes, severe adverse effects can appear, such as serious toxicity or infections, and the patient may need to enter the hospital. These effects may result in the medical team deciding to stop treatment early, before completing all the previously established chemotherapy cycles.

Substantiated information by:

Laura Ferrer Mileo

Published: 15 November 2021
Updated: 15 November 2021


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