Kleefisch's Doctor Discusses Chemotherapy

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Wauwatosa -- On election night, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was the picture of health.  Thursday she insisted she still is.


 “As you guys know I’m cancer free and that’s a wonderful thing,” Kleefisch told reporters.


Kleefisch’s doctor says chemotherapy is about making sure she stays that way.


“In many cancers, breast cancer, colon cancer, there’s a number of cancers where we do chemotherapy in addition to surgery to improve the odds of the cancer not coming back,” said Dr. James Thomas of Froedtert hospital.


Dr.Thomas will be treating Kleefisch who will undergo chemotherapy twice a month for six months.


Thomas says chemotherapy for colon cancer has improved so much that many people can lead normal lives even during treatment.


“Many people are able to manage the side effects. Many people are able to work part time or full time during the course of their chemotherapy,” Thomas explained.


Thomas says the odds of cancer coming back vary.


“People with stage one cancer have a very low chance of the cancer coming back.  People with stage three colon cancer have a higher percentage.”


Kleefisch was stage 2.  She puts the risk at 3 percent, but says chemo lessens that.


Dr. Thomas says colon cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer.  According to the doctor, it is totally preventable with proper screening and colonoscopies.