Who can have chemotherapy

As chemotherapy is a potentially life-saving treatment, it's usually recommended for most people with cancer, even if they're in poor health and it's likely the treatment will make them feel worse.

Delaying treatment, or insome cases nothaving chemotherapy, may be recommended if you:

  • arein the first three months of pregnancy using chemotherapy during this time has a very high risk of causing birth defects
  • havelow levels of blood cells chemotherapy can lower your blood cell count further, so it could make you feel very ill and vulnerable to infection (medication and sometimes a Blood transfusion may be needed to raise your blood cell count)
  • havesevere kidney or liver disease most chemotherapy medications are processed by your liver and kidneys, so this could have a very harmful effect if your liver and kidneys are already damaged
  • have had recent surgery or a wound chemotherapy can disrupt the bodys ability to heal wounds, so it's usually recommended that the wound heals before treatment begins
  • have an ongoing infection chemotherapy can make you more vulnerable to the effects of infection, increasing your risk of developing serious complications
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 3 Jun 2016