Chemotherapy for anal cancer

Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. Cytotoxic means toxic to cells. These drugs work by disrupting the growth of cancer cells, but they also affect normal cells. The chemotherapy drugs are usually given by injection into a vein (intravenously).

Chemotherapy is usually given in combination with radiotherapy. This is called chemoradiotherapy.

Chemotherapy may be used on its own to treat advanced anal cancer to help shrink the size of the tumour and improve symptoms.

Drugs used

Back to Chemotherapy explained

Your feelings

You may experience difficult feelings while having chemotherapy treatment. Talking these over can be helpful.

Where can you have chemotherapy?

You usually have chemotherapy in a chemotherapy day unit or clinic. If your treatment is more complex, you may need to stay in hospital.

Who might I meet?

A team of medical specialists will be involved throughout the course of your chemotherapy treatment.