Familiar to many people as “chemo,” this type of treatment uses chemicals to cure, control, or ease the symptoms of cancer.
Chemotherapy slows or stops the growth of cancer cells by delivering medicine to your body:
- Through a vein (infusion)
- Orally (pill)
- Under your skin or into a muscle (injection)
You may get chemotherapy along with surgery or radiation therapy. Before surgery, chemotherapy may shrink the size of a tumor. After surgery, it can help kill any remaining cancer cells.
While radiation and surgery treat a specific area of your body, chemotherapy works throughout your whole system. It targets cells that grow and divide quickly, which is a characteristic of cancer cells.