The role of Chemotherapy is to cure or control cancer, and can also be given as palliative chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is usually administered over a set period of time in order for it to be effective. Your attending oncologist will plan a chemotherapy protocol and outline when and for how long you will receive your chemotherapy. Chemotherapy protocols are varied, depending on the type and stages of cancer. Before your chemotherapy starts, you will need to have a blood test and physical assessment to ensure you are fit and will be able to cope with any side effects.

Chemotherapy is usually delivered intravenously. It can also be delivered directly into various cavities in the body (e.g. Intra-peritoneally, intraventricularly). Some chemotherapy can also be given topically and orally.

Sometimes chemotherapy is the only treatment you need. More often, chemo is used with surgery or radiation therapy or both. Here’s why:

  • Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
  • Chemo may be used to shrink a tumour before surgery or radiation therapy. Chemo used in this way is called neoadjuvant therapy.
  • It may be used after surgery or radiation therapy to help kill any remaining cancer cells. Chemo used in this way is called adjuvant therapy.
  • It may be used with other treatments if your cancer comes back.

At Sunway Medical Centre, we have a dedicated CDR laboratory, staffed with trained pharmacy technicians to prepare chemotherapy drugs for our patients.

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