Chemotherapy for the Treatment of Cancer

Chemotherapy or “chemo” is the use of any medicine to treat any disease, and can work throughout the whole body. Your healthcare team may use chemo alone or with other therapies as part of your treatment to attack cancerous cells.

What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy or “chemo” is the use of any medicine to treat any disease, and can work throughout the whole body. Your healthcare team may use chemo alone or with other therapies as part of your treatment to attack cancerous cells.

Types of chemotherapy

Cancer-treating chemotherapy consists of more than 100 drugs. These are used by themselves, or combined with other medicines or therapies. The drugs vary by chemical composition, dosage, administration, how well they treat different types of cancer, and side effects.

How does chemotherapy work against cancer?

The three uses for chemo in cancer treatment are to cure cancer, control cancer, and soothe pain. The medicine targets cells while they are forming new cells. Your healthcare team’s knowledge of the different types of and uses for chemotherapy help them determine which drugs should work for your cancer, and in what doses.

How is chemo administered?

Depending on the type of cancer you have and the treatment you are receiving, your chemo may be taken orally, injected by needle, IV, port or catheter, through an implantable pump, or even topically.

Where do you go for this treatment?

Most forms of chemo are administered in your oncologist’s office, clinic or an infusion center. Be sure to talk to your healthcare team about where you will receive chemo.