Chemotherapy is a medical treatment for cancer. Since cancer is a condition consisting of living cells, run amok, the goal of chemotherapy is to weaken or kill the tumor without killing the patient. Understandably, the treatment is extremely dangerous, often bringing the patient to the verge of death, in the hope of removing the cancer. Patients undergoing chemotherapy should be aware of the dangerous side effects of the treatment. In 2004, approximately one in forty cancer patients died as a direct or indirect consequence of chemotherapy. This rate rises to one in thirty among the elderly. Chemotherapy, coupled with surgery to remove the weakened and smaller mass, is often the best treatment.