Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by interfering with cancer cells that are trying to divide and multiply. The aim is to destroy cancer cells while causing the least possible damage to healthy cells.
However, some healthy fast-growing cells in your body, such as bone marrow cells, may be affected.
Chemotherapy is usually given through a needle inserted into a vein (intravenously), by specialised nurses under the guidance of your medical oncologist. You can usually be treated as a day patient.
Chemotherapy may be used as the only treatment for advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. However, when localised cervical cancer is treated with radiotherapy, it is usually combined with low-dose chemotherapy. This will usually involve giving low-dose chemotherapy once a week during radiotherapy treatment, with a drug called cisplatin. If there is a reason why cisplatin is not suitable for you, a related drug called carboplatin may be used.