Before you begin treatment, it is important to understand how chemotherapy works. Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer using chemicals designed to destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing. The goal of chemotherapy is to cure cancer, shrink tumors prior to surgery or radiation therapy, destroy cells that might have spread or control tumor growth.

Chemotherapy is typically given at a cancer center, hospital or doctor's office. Most chemotherapy drugs are given in one of the following ways:
  • By mouth - Swallowing a pill that your doctor prescribes.
  • As a shot - Injected by a needle into an artery or muscle.
  • Intravenous - Given right into your veins through a needle called an IV (intravenous) injection.
  • IP (intraperitoneal) - In ovarian cancer, another way to administer chemotherapy is IP, through a catheter, which is placed in the pelvic cavity and targeted to that area.

The dosage and frequency of your chemotherapy may vary from once a day, once a week, or even once a month, depending on the type of cancer you have and the type of chemotherapy you are taking. It also depends on the type of cancer and what length of time research has shown produces the best results.

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