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CANCER TREATMENTS > CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of cytotoxic drugs in the treatment of cancer. It is one of the treatment modalities that provide cure, control or palliation. Cytotoxic chemotherapy refers to medications that prevent cancer cells from dividing and growing. The aims of chemotherapy are:

  • To achieve a complete cure and possibly kill all the cancer cells using chemotherapy alone (in some cases).
  • To help make other treatment modality more successful, i.e. chemotherapy combines with radiation therapy.
  • To reduce recurrence of cancer. Chemotherapy course is given after surgery to remove cancerous cells.
  • To relieve a symptom. For a cancer, which has reached an advanced stage; chemotherapy could relieve symptoms and slow down the cancer’s spread, which may not be possible to cure.

Chemotherapy can be delivered in many ways. It is either as a course combined with another treatment modality like surgery or radiation therapy called adjuvant therapy or the chemo is administered to shrink the tumor before it is removed through surgery which is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy.