Chemotherapy

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with drugs. Many cancers respond well to this form of medical oncology.

Doctors sometimes use chemotherapy when surgery is unlikely to get rid of the cancer on its own.

Chemo can be a useful approach for:

  • Treating cancer.
  • Keeping cancer from spreading.
  • Slowing the growth of a tumor.

With metastatic cancer, it can help slow the spread of the disease.

In most cases, chemo increases survival times.

Chemotherapy Before and After Surgery

Doctors use chemo:

  • Before surgery (neoadjuvant treatment) to shrink the tumor.
  • After surgery (adjuvant treatment) to try to kill microscopic cancer cells that may still remain after removing the tumor.

How Does Chemotherapy Work?

Chemotherapy drugs target cells that divide quickly, like cancer cells. This kills them or stops them from spreading, which slows the growth of the tumor.

Research has helped to determine the most effective chemo drugs for each situation.

Contact Us About Chemotherapy at UPMC CancerCenter

UPMC CancerCenter has a robust medical oncology program. We offer a full complement of cancer treatment options and knowledgeable experts throughout our extensive network.

To learn more about chemo or other medical oncology treatments at UPMC CancerCenter, call us at 412-647-2811.