Chemo and Radiation Given Together

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Last Modified: December 13, 2011

Question

Why can’t I get my radiation while I am getting my chemo? Why do I have to wait until I finish chemo?

Answer

Susie Lee, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner with Penn Medicine’s Lung Cancer Team, responds:

In some instances, and it may depend on the stage of your lung cancer, it is recommended to give chemotherapy concurrently (at the same time) with radiation for lung cancer. However, often the side effects overlap and it may be too toxic giving the 2 therapies simultaneously. In this case the 2 therapies are given sequentially, or one after the other, to reduce the cumulative toxicity for the patient.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Lung Cancer transcript.

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