Chemotherapy (also referred to as cyto-toxic therapy) is the use of anti-cancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. Chemotherapy reaches all part of the body, not just the cancer cells. The oncologist will recommend a treatment plan for each individual. Specific treatment will be based on:
- your overall health and medical history
- the type and stage of the cancer
- your tolerance for specific medications and procedures
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
The oncologist will also determine how long and how often you will have chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously (in the vein) or by pill, and is usually a combination of drugs. Chemotherapy treatments are often given in cycles; a treatment for a period of time, followed by a recovery period, then another treatment. Chemotherapy may be given in a variety of settings including your home, a hospital outpatient facility, a physician's office or clinic, or in a hospital.