When does chemo begin?

Hi, I have been dx with breast cancer and have had a WLE. since then i have been for my results which has been the scariest time of my life ever. I have been told i need a CT scan and then chemo and rads. Is the chemo and rads decided for def after results of scan? my results were 27 Jan, CT is on 16 Feb. been told i will get an appt with oncologist but that has not come yet. how long will it be, my op was 3 weeks ago. Im sure you need to recover from surgery but i know there is a waiting list for chemo and although may make no difference to whether the cancer has spread or how far etc but it does to my head coming to terms with what to expect, please can anyone advise me? Shar xx

Hi Shar,

I am bumping this up for you as no one has responded.
I have never had a CT scan so not sure how that fits into things. I was told that I needed to wait 6 weeks between my WLE and chemo, and I had my first appointment with the oncologist a week before my chemo actually started. Not sure how it is for everyone though.
I know that this is a really scary time, but hang in there. The chemo isn’t fun but it is manageable and with a bit of luck you won’t have too many side effects. Ti be honest the time waiting for treatment to start at this point is really the worse time of all for many of us, once treatment has started you feel a little m ore in control and like you are actually doing something.
Good luck.

Sorry, shar, didn’t see your post. First port of call for me would be to phone the BCN to get her to check your records to find when it is or chase up the appointment if it hasn’t been made yet. In my hospital I have actually had most of my appointments given to me by phone, sometimes followed by a letter, and sometimes the letter has even arrived AFTER the appointment! So call your nurse and she will chase for you.

NICE guidelines say that chemo should happen within 31 days of end of surgery but that is flexible because they need to be sure you have recovered from surgery as chemo affects your ability to heal so it’s important that you’re adequately recovered before you hit your body with another truck.


I had mastectomy and immediate recon. The oncologist told me that they usually like to start chemo around 5-6 weeks after surgery - I think this is usual. I know it’s difficult waiting and you don’t want anyone to forget about you! Call your BC nurse and ask her if she can chase this for you.

Good luck with your chemo. I am half way through and although it’s rubbish, like Jacqui said you will feel more in control.

xx Rachel xx


Try not to panic.

I was diagnosed on the 7th December (after initial assessment on Nov 16th) and spent 2 weeks having tests. At the time my surgeon said that this would feel like the longest 2 weeks ever but it neede to be done to ensure they had the best approach. She also said that the time scale was 2 weeks because it was their target and if they didn’t hit it they wouldn’t be paid.

I’m a little different to you as i asked for mx after chemo rather than other way round. I was due to start on 20th dec but had an allergic reaction and then another, so didn’t start anything until Jan 10th. It’s now all going well and i can see the thing changing everyday.

As women i think we are all used to being in control of our situations and so this situation is alien to us all. Look at the time as time spent well by the chemo team. I’m sure if you called your bcn they would be able to give you a generic idea timescales.

hang on in there honey, you’re doing well x

Hi Shar
The reason for the wait is that until they see the scan they cant be absolutely certain what type of chemo you will need.I imagine your appt will come through very quickly after the CT.
It was good to meet up yesterday.
Love valx

The decision on whether to have chemo is normally based on your results after surgery. That decision is based on how big the tumour was, what grade it was and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes.
I was told they like to start chemo no more than 6 weeks after surgery but no sooner than 4 in order to give your body a chance to heal etc. Age is also a factor.
A ct scan/bone scan is often given because there was more than 3 nodes with traces of cancer in. I had a ct and bone scan before my surgery as they knew from the start that there was node involvement.
Good luck

There were 2 months between surgery and chemo for me, no one seemed very concerned! Like cat said, many factors are taking into account when deciding on chemo and which regime. X