A cancer diagnosis whether for yourself, a family member or friend is generally upsetting and stressful, and can be confusing. It is often difficult initially to take in all the important information, and you may have many questions.
Cancer is the general name for a group of diseases in which cells in the body begin to grow out of control.
The word chemotherapy was previously used to mean the use of medicines (or drugs) to treat any disease. Today, chemotherapy, or ‘chemo’ for short, is most often referred to in connection with the use of certain types of medicines (medication) to treat cancer.
Sometimes chemotherapy is the only treatment that will be needed, but it may be used with surgery or radiation therapy, or with both.
Chemotherapy may be used to shrink a tumor before surgery or radiation therapy – neoadjuvant therapy
Chemotherapy may be used after surgery or radiation therapy to help destroy any remaining cancer cells – adjuvant therapy