• Can my mother-in-law have cataract surgery while being treated for cancer?


    My mother-in-law has breast cancer and is currently on chemotherapy, gemcetabine and kapacitabine and has developed cataract. Can she have surgery to remove it while undergoing cancer treatment?


    I know of no problem having cataract surgery while under chemotherapy with those medications. The decision to have cataract surgery depends more on her overall medical condition. These medicines do have side effects that may make it advisable to wait until completion of treatment. For example, if nausea and vomiting are not well controlled it would be wiser to wait. While bruising and bleeding can be issues with these medications that is not usually an issue with cataract surgery. Increased risk of infection can occur and may be a reason to hold off on cataract surgery.

    Therefore, if the cataract is severe enough to warrant surgery while having chemotherapy, then it certainly can be done provided that her medical condition is stable and she is not suffering from immediate side effects of the treatment.

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