kinds of cancer treatment:
most common types of cancer treatment:
Treatment is aimed at removing
the cancer cells or destroying them in the body with medicines or
Surgery can be
very successful in treating some kinds of cancer, but it isn't an
option for all people. If the cancer is in the form of a malignant
tumor and the tumor is in one place (localized), it may be possible
to safely "cut out" the tumor and any surrounding affected
tissue. Surgery may not be possible if the cancer has spread to
other areas of the body or if the tumor cannot be removed without
damaging vital organs, such as the liver or brain.
radiation — in the form of a special kind of x-ray, gamma rays or
electrons — to damage cancer cells so that they can't multiply.
There is usually no pain during therapy. Radiotherapy may sometimes
be the only treatment needed, or it may be used with other therapies,
such as surgery. A combination of surgery and radiotherapy may be
used for tumors that grow in one place.
medicines to attack the cancer cells. Just the word "chemotherapy"
can cause a lot of fear because the side effects can be severe.
However, not all people experience severe side effects. The side
effects of chemotherapy can often be reduced with other medicines.
Chemotherapy is usually used when
the cancer has spread to other areas in the body. Chemotherapy can
also be used in combination with surgery and radiation. Sometimes
the tumor is surgically removed and then chemotherapy is used to
make sure all the cancer cells are killed.
Another kind of treatment is biological
therapy. This treatment uses proteins to trigger the body's
immune system to produce more white blood cells (or lymphocytes).
Two lymphocytes that can attack and kill cancer cells are the T-cell
and the B-cell. The proteins boost the ability of the T-cell and
B-cell lymphocytes to kill cancer. Biological therapy can also be
used in combination with surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
is sometimes used to treat breast or prostate cancer. The hormone
estrogen can make breast cancer tumors grow faster. Similarly, the
hormone testosterone can make cancerous tumors in the prostate grow
faster. Drugs that contain other hormones may be used to block the
effects of estrogen and testosterone. In other cases, surgery to
remove the ovaries or the testicles may be used. Removing these
organs reduces the amount of estrogen or testosterone in the body.
Your doctor, or a team of doctors,
will help you understand your options and will recommend options
for treatment. You may not have a choice in the treatment. Many
factors are involved, including the stage that your cancer is in,
what organs are affected, and the type of cancer that you have.
Some cancers, such as skin cancer, are easier to treat than others.
Your age and health, as well as the potential side effects of treatment,
may also be factors in how much control you have over your treatment
You and your doctor will want to
consider both the advantages and disadvantages of each therapy.
In addition, you and your doctor will want to discuss alternative
therapies in case your cancer doesn't respond to treatment.