Chemotherapy involves using anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. These drugs also affect some normal cells such as those in the lining of the mouth, bone marrow, hair follicles and the digestive system. Healthy cells work to repair the damage caused by chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy can be administered in different ways – in the form of tablets, capsules or liquids that are swallowed, or by injection.
Regardless of how chemotherapy drugs are given, they’re absorbed in the bloodstream and are carried through the body. This makes chemotherapy particularly useful for treating cancers that are likely to spread, or have already spread, to other parts of the body.