Chemotherapy may be used to cure cancer, keep cancer from spreading or ease symptoms if cancer cannot be cured. Different chemotherapy drugs may be given at the same time or after each other.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.
Chemotherapy drugs can be given by mouth or injection. Because the medication travels through the bloodstream to the entire body, chemotherapy is considered a systemic treatment. Chemotherapy may be delivered either way, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Patients may receive radiation therapy before, after or while they are getting chemotherapy.
Systemic chemotherapy is when chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle so the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body.
Regional chemotherapy is when chemotherapy is placed directly into the affected area so the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas.