Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. The aim is to destroy cancer cells while causing the least possible damage to healthy cells.
Chemotherapy works by killing fast-growing cells like cancer cells. Other fast-growing cells will also be affected, such as the cells involved in hair growth and cells in the bone marrow, which produce your blood cells.
Chemotherapy drugs are sometimes given as tablets or, more usually, by injection into a vein (intravenously).
Chemotherapy can often be given to during visits to a hospital or clinic as an outpatient, but sometimes it will mean spending a few days in hospital.
Chemotherapy may be used at the same time as radiotherapy to make treatment more effective.
For women with vulval cancer that has come back or spread, chemotherapy can help them feel better by relieving some of the symptoms of the cancer.
Each chemotherapy period is called a cycle, and each cycle is followed by a rest period. During the rest period, your normal cells will repair themselves and your body will regain its strength. Your treatment may be delayed if your body needs more time to recover.