Living with cancer

Introduction to chemotherapy

Chemotherapy means treatment by chemical substances. Chemotherapy is used in cancer treatment to destroy or control cancer cells with cytotoxic (cell toxic) drugs 

There are many different types of chemotherapy drugs. They may be given on their own (single agent chemotherapy), in combination with other drugs as part of a regieme, or with other cancer treatments.

Chemotherapy is given in the form of tablets or through a drip or injection. The different drugs destroy the cancer cells in different ways and side effects vary from drug to drug.

This links on this page will help you to find out more about chemotherapy, a general overview of how it works, when it is used and more about possible side effects.

There is more detailed information on chemotherapy for specific cancers in the Cancer types section of this website.

If you have been affected by cancer in some way and would like to talk to someone about what you have read or need help finding information - you are welcome to drop into any Maggie’s Centre or to visit Maggie’s Online Centre and talk with a cancer support specialist.