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

Critics in the medical community have cast doubt on such claims, stating the only stem cell treatments proven effective involve their use to repopulate bone marrow and make new blood cells, typically for chemotherapy recipients. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "U.S. Stem Cell destruction postponed while ruling is appealed," 11 Sep. 2019 But his parents, Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball, said that the treatment made Noah violent and gave him mood swings, and eventually wanted to seek a second opinion about natural treatment options, stopping the chemotherapy. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Florida Boy with Cancer Whose Parents Refused Chemotherapy Must Remain in Grandparents’ Custody," 10 Sep. 2019 Her cancer was so aggressive that she was put on a chemotherapy regimen that could have killed her. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "‘The Undying,’ an Extraordinary and Furious New Memoir About Cancer," 10 Sep. 2019 When the chemotherapy started last week, there was laughter bursting from Brown’s hospital room. Beth Ann Nichols, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky golfer Cullan Brown is fighting bone cancer, and joy is his 'secret weapon'," 10 Sep. 2019 The treatment is an attempt to reboot the immune system after a patient is given chemotherapy. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Selma Blair rocks no hair, no pants photo. With her usual sass, actress defends the pic," 8 Sep. 2019 Others will need immunosuppressant drugs or even chemotherapy to treat the condition. Samantha Lauriello, Health.com, "Kim Kardashian Thinks She Has Lupus in New 'KUWTK' Trailer—but What Does That Mean?," 6 Sep. 2019 This time last year, coach Trey Sissom was receiving chemotherapy while recovering from multiple myeloma, a rare cancer he was diagnosed with in January of 2018. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Travis football eager to follow school record season," 26 Aug. 2019 Drug and chemotherapy regimens to control tumors have gotten so effective, in fact, that in some cases, surgery is no longer necessary. Alice Park, Time, "Promising Blood Test Could Help to Predict Breast Cancer Recurrence," 8 Aug. 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

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Last Updated

16 Oct 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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