chemotherapy

noun
che·​mo·​ther·​a·​py | \ ˌkē-mō-ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce chemotherapy (audio) \

Definition of chemotherapy

: the therapeutic use of chemical agents to treat disease especially : the administration of one or more cytotoxic drugs to destroy or inhibit the growth and division of malignant cells in the treatment of cancer

Note: Chemotherapy may be used alone as a primary treatment or may be used before, after, or in conjunction with surgery or radiation.

called also chemo

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Other Words from chemotherapy

chemotherapist \ ˌkē-​mō-​ˈther-​ə-​pist How to pronounce chemotherapist (audio) \ noun

Examples of chemotherapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With the national hospice and palliative care movements only beginning, our discussions with this man and his wife focused mostly on which chemotherapies might be able to prolong his life. WSJ, "The Top Five Health Posts of 2018 from The Experts," 31 Dec. 2018 The immunotherapy didn’t eradicate my disease, but my response to subsequent chemotherapy has been beyond expectations. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Yardley man has terminal illness, but can't support GOP 'right to try'," 24 May 2018 He was hospitalized in December for a viral infection and for side effects related to his ongoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment and has been in Arizona since Dec. 17. Dan Nowicki, azcentral, "Meghan McCain: Still no timetable for ailing father John McCain's return to the Senate," 13 Mar. 2018 And chemotherapy was, of course, brutal: four-plus months of vomit, exhaustion, weight loss, dissolving hair. SI.com, "Cuonzo Martin, the Fight for His Life and Why He Took the Job as Head Coach of Missouri," 16 Jan. 2018 Joan has already begun chemotherapy and is optimistic about her prognosis. Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Joan Lunden Opens Up About Breast Cancer Diagnosis," 24 June 2014 But there's also evidence that the junctions are looser in people who've undergone treatment for cancer, especially chemotherapy, Dr. Kirby says. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Leaky Gut Syndrome Isn’t an Official Diagnosis, but the Symptoms Are Real," 19 Mar. 2019 Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004, Erbitux was a major advance over traditional chemotherapy that kills all rapidly dividing cells, with ugly side effects. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "John Mendelsohn," 24 Jan. 2019 The chemotherapy was less invasive as well, suggesting that, to be successful, treatments and their side-effects may not need to be as intensive for future HIV patients. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Patient with HIV Has Gone Into Remission—Only the Second Case in Recorded Medical History," 6 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chemotherapy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chemotherapy

1910, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chemotherapy

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Statistics for chemotherapy

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for chemotherapy

The first known use of chemotherapy was in 1910

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More Definitions for chemotherapy

chemotherapy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chemotherapy

medical : the use of chemicals to treat or control a disease (such as cancer)

chemotherapy

noun
che·​mo·​ther·​a·​py | \ -ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce chemotherapy (audio) \
plural chemotherapies

Medical Definition of chemotherapy

: the therapeutic use of chemical agents to treat disease Pyrazinamide is one of the most important drugs in modern chemotherapy of tuberculosis …— Max Salfinger et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association, 22 Mar. 1995 especially : the administration of one or more cytotoxic drugs to destroy or inhibit the growth and division of malignant cells in the treatment of cancer Cancer cells mutate at a furious rate, and they can evolve the means to resist most chemotherapy drugs, requiring higher and more toxic doses to achieve an effect. — Shannon Brownlee and Nancy Shute, U.S. News & World Report, 18 May 1998 Neutropenia and infection are major dose-limiting side effects of chemotherapy. — Jeffrey Crawford et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 18 July 1991

called also chemo

Note: Chemotherapy may be used alone as a primary treatment or may be used before, after, or in conjunction with surgery or radiation.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on chemotherapy

Spanish Central: Translation of chemotherapy

Nglish: Translation of chemotherapy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chemotherapy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chemotherapy

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