Chemotherapy for vulvar cancer
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. The aim is to destroy cancer cells while causing the least possible damage to healthy cells.
You may have chemotherapy:
- during a course of radiation therapy, to make the radiation treatment more effective (known as chemoradiation or chemoradiotherapy)
- to control cancer that has spread outside the vulva.
The drugs are usually given by injection into a vein (intravenously). You will usually have several treatment sessions, with rest periods in between. Treatment is usually given during day visits to a hospital or clinic as an outpatient. Rarely, you may need to stay in hospital for a couple of nights.
For more on this, see our general section on Chemotherapy.
Video: What is chemotherapy?
Learn more about chemotherapy in this short video.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Prof Alison Brand AM, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Kim Hobbs, Clinical Specialist Social Worker, Gynaecological Cancer, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Dr Ming-Yin Lin, Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Lisa Mackenzie, Clinical Psychologist Registrar, HNE Centre for Gynaecological Cancer, Hunter New England Local Health District, NSW; Anne Mellon, CNC – Gynaecological Oncology, HNE Centre for Gynaecological Cancer, Hunter New England Local Health District, NSW; A/Prof Tarek Meniawy, Medical Oncologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and The University of Western Australia, WA; Dr Archana Rao, Gynaecological Oncologist, Senior Staff Specialist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Tara Redemski, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer and Blood Disorders, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Anita Tyrrell, Consumer; Maria Veale, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council QLD.
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