If you're struggling to find what you need, call our Support line on 7 days a week, 8am-8pm. Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat many different types of cancer. It is most commonly given as an injection into a vein or as tablets or capsules.
For those with early breast cancer, chemotherapy is usually given after breast surgery called adjuvant chemotherapybut before radiation therapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy helps lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence by getting rid of cancer cells that might still be in the body. These cells are too small to see on scans or to measure with lab tests.
Chemotherapy is a treatment which uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is sometimes used after breast cancer surgery to kill any undetectable cancer cells that may be left in the breast or lymph nodes. Chemotherapy can also be used before surgery. This is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy chemo uses anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously injected into your vein or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Occasionally, chemo may be given directly into the spinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Author information: 1 U. Oncologia Medica, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Moscati, Avellino, Italy.
Chemotherapy drugs are a specific class of medications called cytotoxic agents. Cancer cells grow faster than regular cells. These drugs disrupt the growth of fast-growing cells and leave slower-growing cells generally unharmed.
Chemotherapy for breast cancer uses drugs to target and destroy breast cancer cells. These drugs are usually given directly into a vein through a needle or as a pill. Chemotherapy for breast cancer frequently is used in addition to other treatments, such as surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. Receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer may increase the chance of a cure, decrease the risk of the cancer returning, alleviate symptoms from the cancer or help people with cancer live longer with a better quality of life.
Chemotherapy involves the use of chemicals that weaken or kill cancer cells and it's a mainstay of treatment for some types of breast cancer. This kind of treatment has long been associated with severe side effects, and while this is a reality of chemo, doctors have learned a lot about how to minimize them while also improving survival rates. Chemotherapy works by interfering with the ability of rapidly growing cells like cancer cells to divide or multiply.