If you miss a chemotherapy appointment would a doctor give you a double treatment the next time?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 30, 2016
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If you miss a chemotherapy apointment would a doctor give you a double treatment the next time?

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Bonnie Bajorek Daneker is author and creator of the The Compassionate Caregiver's Series, which includes "The Compassionate Caregiver's Guide to Caring for Someone with Cancer," "The Journey of Grief," "Handbook on Hospice and Palliative Care," and other titles on cancer diagnosis and end of life. She speaks regularly at cancer research and support functions, including PANCAN and Cancer Survivor's Network. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the CSN at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

This is very unlikely. Usually, a missed dose is because the patient is not tolerating the chemotherapy well. Oncologists monitor this "toxicity" to the patient, and may reduce or hold doses, based on your current state of health and your recovery from previous doses.

For example, if your white cell counts are unacceptably low, your oncologist may change your dose levels or have you wait a week before the next chemo to give your body time to recover. Work with your oncologist to monitor your condition to determine when it's safe to restart chemotherapy for the maximum healing effect.

If, however, you missed your dose because of non-health related circumstances, such as weather that prohibited you from driving, you need to contact your oncologist's office as soon as possible to promptly restart treatment.