Chemotherapy means the delivery of drugs/medicines used for systemic cancer treatment. It’s often shortened to “chemo.” Two other medical terms used to describe cancer chemotherapy are antineoplastic (meaning anti-cancer) therapy and cytotoxic (cell-killing) therapy. Chemotherapy differs from surgery or radiation in that it’s almost always used as a systemic treatment. This means the drugs travel throughout the body to reach cancer cells wherever they are.
Chemotherapy is used to treat many cancers. More than 100 chemotherapy drugs are used today — either alone or in combination with other drugs or treatments. As research continues, more drugs are expected to become available. These drugs vary widely in their chemical composition, how they are taken, their usefulness in treating specific forms of cancer, and their side effects.
Chemotherapy is prescribed by Medical and Clinical Oncologists and administered by Oncology Nurses usually intravenously and on an ambulatory basis after careful preparation by a Pharmacist.
The Chemotherapy Department at St Stephen Oncology centre has 10 chemotherapy stations including one bed.