Chemotherapy is the mainstay of cancer treatment. The therapy uses different powerful drugs to locate and destroy cancer cells spreading throughout the body. The drugs either slow down the cancer growth or stop the cells from dividing. The major drawback of this therapy, however, is that it cannot differentiate between normal and cancerous cells. Hence, it also damages the rapidly dividing healthy cells in the body such as hair follicles or intestinal cells. This results in side effects among patients. The recent chemotherapeutic drugs, however, are not only effective but also pose lesser side effects as compared to the traditional drugs.
The drugs are of two types depending on the time of their administration:
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy: These are administered before the surgery or radiation therapy.
- Adjuvant chemotherapy: These are administered after the surgery or radiation therapy.