Chemotherapy, aka chemo, is a drug that kills tumor cells. The objective of chemo is:
- to kill (or cure)
- to maintain remission (free of disease)
- to compliment surgery or radiation
- to help control pain or other systems
Most drugs are given intravenous (IV) or by mouth (PO) and sometimes intramuscular (IM). Most chemotherapy are given in cycles. Each cycle consists of the actual treatment period and recovery period. If we say “today is Cycle 1 Day 5); it means literally this is cycle 1 and day 5 of cycle 1.
Most chemotherapy are given in chemo suites as outpatient. However, depending on the intensity of the regimen, the patient may need to stay in the hospital for a short time.
Here’s a great short video describing chemotherapy: