Chemotherapy for childhood cancers

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that destroy cancer cells.

Knowing what to expect during and after treatment can help you prepare and reduce any anxiety that you and your family may be feeling. The following information has been put together to help you understand chemotherapy treatment, and we hope to reduce any concerns you have.

What is chemotherapy?

There are many different kinds of chemotherapy medicines that may be used in different ways. The type of chemotherapy that is delivered will be personalised based on the location and stage of the cancer, type of cancer, and the child’s age and general health.

Your Paediatric Haematologist-Oncologist will talk through the treatment plan and why it’s the best possible approach, to ensure you and your family feel as confident and prepared as possible before beginning treatment.

How is chemotherapy given?

Treatment can be delivered in a number of different ways, including orally, injection, inserted into the vein, or directly into the area affected by cancer. Children and young adults will usually receive chemotherapy in multiple cycles over a certain amount of time, according to the treatment protocol and depending on the specific type of cancer.

Spreading the treatment out in cycles is important to allow the body’s healthy cells to recover before the next dose.

Chemotherapy might be used as the sole treatment or in combination with other treatments, such as before or after surgery or radiation therapy, or together with radiation therapy.

Helpful Links

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Family resources

Resources to help children, adolescents, young adults and their families through diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
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Learn more about the different cancers that are common in Singaporean children, adolescents and young adults.
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