Chemo before surgery - how long is the wait after chemo has finished?

Anyone know how long the wait is for surgery after chemo is finished? My mum is having chemo before surgery, not sure if it will be WLE or max. If I am right with my calculation she is due to finish Chemo beginning of November. I cancelled my annual holiday after mum’s diagnose and need to rebook by end of the month or else I will loose my money. I dont want to be away until after mum’s had her surgery but not sure when that will likely to be. Saw the oncologist last week but totally forgot to ask. I heard there’s a couple of weeks between finishing chemo and surgery, to give your body a bit of time to recover. Is this right?
Kat xx

Hi Kat, I finished chemo on November 9th last year and had double mastectomy on 15th January this year. I thought that was quite a wait but it meant I actually got to enjoy Christmas! I think it depends on your blood counts, mine were still very low then and I was put on antibiotics++ straight away as a precaution but I was fine. Sending lots of luck to your mum. Vicky xx

I think the average waiting time to move on to other treatments after chemo, is about 3-4 weeks. Although I had my surgery before chemo. Surgery was 12th December 2012, chemo started 5th Feb 2012. The moved on to Anastrazole 4th July. I think they like your body to regain it’s equilibrium first. I’m sure someone will come along soon who had chemo first, to give you the correct answer.

Hi Kat, I had chemo first & then expected to have either mx or wle but was very lucky as chemo destroyed cancer completely so just had lymph node clearance. I had this done 5 weeks after last chemo, I hope your mums chemo goes well x

I had chemo first and am surgery next week. I was told that surgery has to be done with 4-6 weeks after your last chemo, my op is 4 weeks after my last chemo.
Hope this helps


mine was 6 weeks and 1 day!

QD x

I’m having my last lot of chemo 4th of Sept and have been told by my breast care nurse that they would do surgery between 4-6 weeks after to allow bloods to recover but soon enough to prevent cancer spreading again. We’re planning a family holiday end of Sept so hopefully I will be in straight after. Seeing my surgeon on Weds to discuss options but I know I know what I want (bilateral skin sparing mx with implants) I’ve had 6 months to think about it!
Hope this helps

The wait following chemo for surgery is influenced by a few factors ie how fast your body recovers from the chemo and most importantly what level of surgery your mum will be having.
I had probably the biggest surgery possible - I had a double mx with immediate DIEP recon including full ANC clearance on the bc side. i was told that surgery would be between six and eight weeks, and in the end I had to wait 8 weeks as my ps was away!

Good luck to your mum,
Sue x

I had my last chemo 28 feb. it shrunk my tumour from 8x5cm to next to Nothing. Then had mastectomy and ANC on 25 march


I had chemo before my op.My chemo ended in March 2009 and I had my op in April 2009.Everyone is different ,I would suggest for your mum to contact her breast nurse they are always very helpful and would be able to find out any info that you need.

I am pretty sure this will depend on individual surgeons, health situation etc.  I finished chemo at the end of April and had my surgery on 4th June.  I think that was just about the right time span to allow my bone marrow to start functioning again properly. If it helps, to have the chemo first was exactly the right choice for me, as my large (5cm) tumour had shrunk off scan and I only needed a smaller amount of surgery.



Just an update since my original thread.


My mum finished her chemo just before Christmas and now waiting for a date for surgery. We havent heard anything since her MRI scan 2 weeks ago. I have been trying to chase things up with her nurse who said she will chase things up with the doctor. I am getting quite worried now and so is my mum as we dont want there to be too much of a time gap between her chemo and surgery. Is there anything we can or should do to try and speed things up? Any advice would be much appreciated.