Your medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with drugs) will create a personalized treatment plan for you based on national guidelines and his or her expertise and experience. Many different chemo drugs are available and are designed to treat specific cancers. Not all chemotherapy is the same, nor is 1 chemotherapy used to treat all cancers. Depending on the drug(s) your doctor prescribes, you may receive your chemo through an IV (intravenous), a pill, injections or a combination. Chemo may be used alone or with other treatments such as radiation or surgery.
Chemotherapy, or chemo, is a type of drugs that kills fast growing and dividing cells in your body, typically cancerous cells. It is used to kill cancer cells, relieve pain associated with the tumor or to slow growth of the tumor and extend your life. Many advances have been made in chemotherapy drugs that result in better cure rates and fewer side effects. Some side effects are mild and manageable; others can cause serious complications. Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of your specific chemotherapy. Sign up for My Healing Plan to learn more about the chemotherapy and the treatment plan your doctor has prescribed for you.