You asked: How much longer can chemo prolong your life?

Chemotherapy (chemo) may prolong life in some lung cancer patients. According to a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at the role of chemotherapy at the end of life, chemo for some patients with a specific type of lung cancer prolonged their lives by two to three months.

How long can chemo prolong life?

For most cancers where palliative chemotherapy is used, this number ranges from 3-12 months. The longer the response, the longer you can expect to live.

Does chemo actually extend life?

First-line chemotherapy for patients with non–small cell lung cancer improves survival by 2 to 3 months, relieves symptoms, and improves quality of life compared with best supportive care.

How many rounds of chemo can a person have?

You may need four to eight cycles to treat your cancer. A series of cycles is called a course. Your course can take 3 to 6 months to complete. And you may need more than one course of chemo to beat the cancer.

Is there a limit to how much chemotherapy you can have?

There’s no way to give an exact time limit. The answer depends entirely on your situation and many factors, such as: The type of cancer you have. The treatment schedule or plan.

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Does chemo shorten your lifespan?

During the 3 decades, the proportion of survivors treated with chemotherapy alone increased (from 18% in 1970-1979 to 54% in 1990-1999), and the life expectancy gap in this chemotherapy-alone group decreased from 11.0 years (95% UI, 9.0-13.1 years) to 6.0 years (95% UI, 4.5-7.6 years).

Can chemotherapy be given indefinitely?

If the disease disappears completely, chemotherapy may continue for 1-2 cycles beyond this observation to maximize the chance of having attacked all microscopic disease. If the disease shrinks but does not disappear, chemotherapy will continue as long as it is tolerated and the disease does not grow.

Do doctors tell you how long you have to live?

This probably goes without saying, but: Doctors don’t know when you’re going to die. I’ve had patients with a prognosis of six months to live who continue to visit me 10 years later. And I’ve had patients die unexpectedly when I believed they had plenty of time remaining.

What is the survival rate for chemotherapy?

The survival rate for those diagnosed in stages 1-3 is near 100% and about 71% for stage 4. The five-year survival rate is 90% for medullary carcinoma and 7% for anaplastic carcinoma.

When chemo stops working What next?

If cancer does not respond to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other treatments, palliative care is still an option. A person can receive palliative care with other treatments or on its own. The aim is to enhance the quality of life.

Does each round of chemo get harder?

The effects of chemo are cumulative. They get worse with each cycle. My doctors warned me: Each infusion will get harder. Each cycle, expect to feel weaker.

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