What is Chemotherapy?

Often referred to as “chemo,” chemotherapy is a type of treatment consisting of medication or a combination of medications to treat cancer. Your doctor may also call these anti-cancer drugs, or anti-neoplastic drugs. The purpose of chemotherapy is to stop or reduce the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy is systemic, meaning the medication targets cancer cells throughout the entire body.

What Does Chemotherapy Do?

Depending on your disease and its stage, chemotherapy can be used several ways. Your oncology specialist may use chemotherapy to:

  • cure a specific cancer.
  • reduce a tumor’s growth.
  • reduce a tumor’s size before surgery or radiation.
  • reduce pain.
  • eliminate any tumor cells still present after surgery or radiation.

Which Chemotherapy is Right for Me?

There are more than 100 chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer, and more are released every year. At Oregon Oncology Specialists, our physicians stay up-to-date with new medications. Your oncologist will review all available choices and recommend the best therapy based on your disease. Our experienced, compassionate staff will navigate you and your family through a treatment plan built especially for you.

For more details on the how chemotherapy is delivered and what to expect: