Chemotherapy, also called “chemo,” is treatment with drugs that block or
slow down cell growth, most often for cancer. There are many chemotherapy drugs, and often several
are given together. Depending on the type of cancer, its size, and whether it has spread,
chemotherapy may cure the cancer, slow or prevent its spread, or make its symptoms better.
Chemotherapy is often used with other cancer treatments, such as radiation or surgery. For instance,
a patient may be given chemotherapy to shrink a tumor before surgery or radiation or to help kill
any cancer cells that may be left afterward. Chemotherapy is sometimes administered with other
nonchemotherapy agents such as antibodies that also block or slow down tumor growth.