Definition of Chemotherapy

January 15, 2016

Because of my fascination with words, and because of my recent interest in chemotherapy, since my diagnosis of breast cancer, I found the following Wikipedia paragraph intriguing.

“The word chemotherapy without a modifier usually refers to cancer treatment, but its historical meaning was broader. The term was coined in the early 1900s by Paul Ehrlich as meaning any use of chemicals to treat any disease (chemo- + -therapy), such as the use of antibiotics (antibacterial chemicals). . .This was later followed by sulfonamides (sulfa drugs) and penicillin. In today’s usage, the sense “any treatment of disease with drugs” is often expressed with the word pharmacotherapy.”

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