- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Chemotherapy treatment explained
- Chemotherapy with other treatments
Chemotherapy with other treatments
For some types of cancer, you may be given chemotherapy as part of another treatment, such as a stem cell transplant or radiation therapy, or in combination with other drug therapies.
|high-dose chemotherapy||Usually given as part of a stem cell transplant for blood cancers, such as leukaemia or lymphoma. It kills off all the cancer cells before the new, healthy blood cells are given. The transplant usually occurs a day or two later.|
|chemoradiation (chemo- radiotherapy)||This is when chemotherapy is combined with radiation therapy. The chemotherapy drugs make the cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy. Chemoradiation is commonly used for brain, bowel, cervical and oesophageal cancers.|
|hormone therapy||May be used after chemotherapy. Some cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer, can grow in response to hormones. Drugs that block these hormones may be given as tablets or injections.|
|targeted therapy||Often used in combination with chemotherapy, targeted therapy drugs may be given through a drip in a vein, as injections or as tablets.|
|immunotherapy||May be used in combination with chemotherapy. Usually given through a drip in a vein.|
|steroids||Often given with chemotherapy to ease or prevent nausea, manage allergic reactions, make chemotherapy more effective or directly treat the cancer. Steroids are usually given as tablets. Side effects include indigestion, an increased appetite, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, increased blood glucose levels and muscle weakness.|
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Clinical A/Prof Rosemary Harrup, Director, Cancer and Blood Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Katie Benton, Advanced Dietitian, Cancer Care, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Queensland Health, QLD; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Stacey Burton, Consumer; Dr Fiona Day, Staff Specialist, Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Andrew Greig, Consumer; Steve Higgs, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Prof Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology, The Canberra Hospital, ACT.
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