Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. They enter the bloodstream and travel through the body. It may be used:
Chemotherapy is most often given through an IV. It's done in cycles over a set period. But, most can't get to the brain because of the blood brain barrier (BBB). The BBB protects the brain from harm. It can make getting medicines harder.
Other methods to get chemotherapy:
There are many kinds of chemotherapy drugs. The choice will be based on the type of tumor and where it's found. Chemotherapy drugs from brain tumors may include:
Chemotherapy causes a range of health problems. The most common are:
There are many ways to manage these problems. Medicines and lifestyle changes are the most common. In some cases, the cycles may be changed to lower the chances of serious problems. Talk to your healthcare team as soon as these appear so they can be better controlled.
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Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 8/10/2018