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Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

How long do the chemo drugs stay in your system?? Does anybody know. Does your body flush them out after a couple of days. I know you can feel the side effects for some time, but are the drugs still in your system long after?

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

Chemical therapy (chemo) has serious health and neurological
ramifications for some people, and for others, no ramifications.

It can't be explained easily, why it damages some people more
than others, but life can be like that.

Generally, some chemicals can remain in fat cells for months,
but the problem isn't "how long the drug lasts", the problem is
what damage it might do.

Some neurological problems caused by the toxic chemicals can
last forever, and "second cancers" can be generated by the
arbitrary cell-killing ability of the drugs used.

As with anything in life, the good has to be weighed against
the possible damage. That's something that should be addressed
to the oncologist that's prescribing the chemicals, for an answer.

If I found a cancerous tumor was about to kill me in short time,
I would opt to do anything it takes to stop it in it's tracks. If the
side effects would leave me unable to do things I'm presently
doing, or in pain, I would have to weigh my options; do I want to
die now, or live with pain or with a permanent disability.

So the problem isn't really how long it takes for the drugs to be
purged from your body; the important concern should be how
much permanent damage will you suffer (if any).

Give your oncologist a call, and demand truthful answers.

Best wishes to you,


Posts: 457
Joined: Dec 2010

my mum's oncologist told her it's about 6 months for the drugs to stay in her body...

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks guys. John, I was just wondering do you still get scans of any kind?

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

"John, I was just wondering do you still get scans of any kind?"

I have a GP, Gastroenterologist, Colorectal/General Surgeon,
and an Oncologist I can use at any time. I get blood tests once a
month since my last operation, and I just had a CT and x-Rays
last month. I've been getting CTs at six month intervals since 2006.

There's been a lot of misconception regarding alternative medicine,
and a belief that one using an alternative medicine forgoes all of
the usual western medicine tests and procedures. That's not the
way it is, however. The only difference, is that the alternative is
used medicinally instead of the usual prescribed drugs, to achieve
the same effect without the usual side effects, interactions,.and
withdrawal problems..... And, depending on the alternative used,
the alternative will address the underlying problem, not simply
eliminate the symptom of the underlying problem.

But to answer your question - Yes, everything else is required
just as it is in western medicine's practices.

Back in 2006, my TCM doc was the first to tell me that I had a
large intestine blockage that was likely due to a tumor. He advised
me to go to the ER and get a scan and tests..

The GP I had at the time, said it was IBS, and suggested over-the-counter
remedies; I no longer use that GP. It took the ER a few scans and
X-Rays, but couldn't locate the obstruction precisely. Finally a gastro gal
asked me if she could do a colonoscopy to try to pinpoint where the
obstruction was, in spite of the surgeons and radiologist saying I had
obstructions on both small and large intestines, and that a colonoscopy
would be of no use. The gastro doc located it correctly in the large
intestine, in precisely the same spot my TCM doc said it was.

It cost my insurance company a bundle to figure out what my exact
condition was. The insurance doesn't pay for TCM, even though
he located the problem in half the time for a fraction of the money.

So that's the scoop! If you do TCM, you still get the usual checkups
from whatever WM doctors you presently use. But regardless of the
alternative medicine used, tests and scans are still necessary.

If I didn't experience TCM first-hand, and meet the patients that
are using TCM (or had been using TCM)...... Having heard their
stories, and after having witnessed for myself various patient's
progress from very bad to excellent... I probably would be very
skeptical of TCM.

If I can help you in any way regarding TCM, just ask.

Thanks for your interest in my condition, btw!

Best of health to you,


abrub's picture
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mar 2010

I was told that the half-life of 5FU is very short (recall says about 10 minutes) which is why they like to give it by pump over a few days. Other drugs - I don't know. However, the effects of the chemo are longer lasting, because it damages or kills the cells.

belindahill's picture
Posts: 144
Joined: Jan 2011

hi, we were told up to 3mth after finishing chemo. which was on the 18th of march. We never had many side effects, xeloda for 8 cycles. Hope its the same for you.

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