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What Is Chemotherapy?


Say: kee-mo-THER-uh-pee

Chemotherapy (or chemo for short) is the use of special medicines to treat cancer. They can be given alone, but doctors often use several chemotherapy drugs together to attack the cancer cells in different ways. The exact combination depends on the type of cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

These very powerful medicines sometimes affect normal cells too. That's why many people being treated for cancer lose their hair. The good news is that when a person finishes chemo, the normal cells come back and so does their hair!