Modality chemotherapy combines chemotherapy with other treatments such as radiation or surgery.
- Combination chemotherapy involves administering a several different chemo drugs at one time.
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is done before surgery to shrink a large or complex tumor so that the surgery or the radiation treatments will be more effective on the tumor. The surgery or radiation may not have to be as extensive, so there is less damage to surrounding tissues and organs.
- When chemotherapy treatment is begun after your surgery, it is called adjuvant chemotherapy. There may be little evidence of cancer, but chemotherapy will kill off any cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of your body or were left behind. New, young tumors are made up of especially fast dividing cells. Chemo, which works by killing off fast dividing cells, can be extremely effective on these new tumors that may have spread to other parts of your body.
- Palliative chemotherapy is given without the expectation that the chemo will kill off the tumor, but that it will decrease or shrink the tumor or tumors and increase life expectancy.