What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is medicine that is used to treat cancer by stopping the cancer from growing and spreading to other parts of the body.

Depending on the type of cancer and the stage, chemotherapy treatment can be used for different goals, including:

  • Cure the cancer
  • Control the cancer
  • Relieve symptoms that the cancer may cause

Sometimes chemotherapy is the only treatment a patient receives. More often, however, chemotherapy is used in addition to surgery, radiation therapy and/or biological therapy:

  • Neo-Adjuvant Therapy: Shrink a tumor before surgery or radiation therapy
  • Adjuvant Chemotherapy: Help destroy any cancer cells that may remain after surgery and/or radiation therapy
  • Enhance radiation therapy and biological therapy
  • Destroy cancer if it recurs or has spread to other parts of the body from the original tumor
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