How long does chemotherapy stay in your system?

A fellow caregiver asked...

How long does chemotherapy stay in your system after all treatments?

Expert Answer

Andrew Putnam, M.D. is a Palliative Care physician at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.

While the effects of chemotherapy can take place over a longer period of time (maybe weeks),  the actual chemicals that are chemotherapy are generally out of the person's system within 24 hours.  This assumes that the person's kidneys and liver are able to process the chemotherapy within a normal period of time