Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells in the body by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells.
Chemotherapy can also harm healthy cells, such as the cells that line your mouth and intestines, or cause your hair to grow. Damaging healthy cells causes side effects, however these side effects get better or go away once chemotherapy treatment is complete.
Which chemotherapy drug will I have?
Not all cancers are treated with the same chemotherapy drugs. Different drugs affect the cancer cells in different ways. The drugs you are given and the way they are given will depend on the type you have.
You may have one chemotherapy drug or a combination of different drugs. When a combination of drugs is used, each drug is chosen for its different effects.
There are many different chemotherapy drugs and new drugs are being developed all the time. You may be invited to take part in a research trial.
Other anti-cancer drugs are used to treat cancer, but they are not usually known as chemotherapy. For example, drugs called targeted therapies work differently to chemotherapy. These drugs can be given on their own or in combination with chemotherapy drugs
It’s very important to us to preserve your quality of life while you’re in our care. Our doctors and nurses carefully monitor you during and after your treatment.