I’ve had several continuing sessions of chemotherapy over several years, and want to know how long this can continue, and what’s the consequences of repetitive chemotherapy?
It’s a good and difficult question. Partly the success and partly the problem of ovarian cancer is that we’ve made it into a chronic disease. So people live longer, but it goes away, then comes back and repeat. It’s great people manage to have some time with their family. At the same time, it takes its toll on people having repeated cycles of chemotherapy, and some people need it every six to eight months.
The question you’re asking is very much individual, and a lot depends on the patients, their family wishes, or whether they want to keep on going and have treatment. There are drugs that may cause allergic reactions the more times you give them. Carboplatin and Taxol are examples. There's a lady I saw when I started consulting here in 2001, and she’s still coming. I’ve lost count of the different types of chemo I’ve given her. She’s just gone to Disneyland and tells me when she wants chemo because she’s got all these holidays booked.