Can I Work During Chemotherapy Treatment?

Question: Will I be able to work during my chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer?

Answer: You know, most people can work during their chemotherapy treatment. It depends on the person. Many of my patients have very few side effects of the chemotherapy regimen they're on, other than that they have to take time off from work and come to the clinic -- anywhere from once a week to once every third week, depending on the therapy that they're getting. But they can work through it, and they don't have a lot of side effects of the chemotherapy. Other people really need to take a break from the stress of their work life. And I think, in part, the decision is personal one, in addition to a medical one. It is rare for the chemotherapy itself to produce side effects that would make it impossible to keep working. Sometimes it does -- some people have their own reaction, and if so then that needs to be managed -- but it isn't a common thing, and most people can keep working if they want to.

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