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How is chemotherapy different from radiation or surgery?

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Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer that uses powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells. Unlike radiation or surgery, which target specific areas, chemo can work throughout your body. It targets cells that grow and divide quickly, as cancer cells do. But it can also affect some fast-growing healthy cells, like those of the skin, hair, intestines, and bone marrow. That's what causes some of the side effects from the treatment.

SOURCES:

NIH National Cancer Institute: “Radiation Therapy for Cancer,” “Biological Therapies for Cancer,” “Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer.”

National Cancer Society: “What Is Targeted Cancer Therapy?”

OncoLink.org: “Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (IP Chemo).”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 10, 2017

SOURCES:

NIH National Cancer Institute: “Radiation Therapy for Cancer,” “Biological Therapies for Cancer,” “Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer.”

National Cancer Society: “What Is Targeted Cancer Therapy?”

OncoLink.org: “Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (IP Chemo).”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 10, 2017

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