Adjuvant chemotherapy is a type of chemotherapy treatment given after surgery for early-stage cancer in order to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. The term “adjuvant” refers to the fact that this treatment is given in addition to the primary treatment, which is typically surgery in this context.
Adjuvant chemotherapy is commonly used to treat a variety of types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer, among others. The goal of this treatment is to kill any remaining cancer cells that may have been left behind after surgery, in order to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and improve the chances of long-term survival.
The timing of adjuvant chemotherapy is typically determined by the stage of the cancer and the specific characteristics of the tumor, such as its size, grade, and hormone receptor status. In general, adjuvant chemotherapy is most commonly given within a few weeks to a few months after surgery, and may be administered for several months or even up to a year.
Adjuvant chemotherapy may be given in combination with other treatments, such as radiation therapy or targeted therapy, depending on the specific characteristics of the cancer and the individual patient’s treatment plan.
While adjuvant chemotherapy can be an effective treatment for reducing the risk of cancer recurrence, it can also have potential side effects and risks, such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and an increased risk of infection. Careful monitoring and management of these side effects is an important part of the treatment process.
Overall, adjuvant chemotherapy is an important treatment option for early-stage cancer, and can significantly improve the chances of long-term survival for many patients.