October 2020
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Chemotherapy (often abbreviated to chemo and sometimes CTX or CTx) is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapeutic agents) as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen.

Chemotherapy may be given with a curative intent (which almost always involves combinations of drugs), or it may aim to prolong life or to reduce symptoms (palliative chemotherapy).

Chemotherapy is one of the major categories of the medical discipline specifically devoted to pharmacotherapy for cancer, which is called medical oncology.

The use of drugs (whether chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or targeted therapy) constitutes systemic therapy for cancer in that they are introduced into the bloodstream and are therefore in principle able to address cancer at any anatomic location in the body.

Traditional chemotherapeutic agents are cytotoxic by means of interfering with cell division (mitosis) but cancer cells vary widely in their susceptibility to these agents.

To a large extent, chemotherapy can be thought of as a way to damage or stress cells, which may then lead to cell death.

Many of the side effects of chemotherapy can be traced to damage to normal cells that divide rapidly and are thus sensitive to anti-mitotic drugs: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract, and hair follicles.

This results in the most common side-effects of chemotherapy: myelosuppression (decreased production of blood cells, hence also immunosuppression), mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract), and alopecia (hair loss).

Chemotherapy may be given with a curative intent or it may aim to prolong life or to palliate symptoms.

Chemotherapy Medical Animation

What Does Chemotherapy Actually Do To Your Body?

What to Expect During Chemotherapy

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