The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer or as much of the cancer as possible. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer. Cancer treatment is the use of surgery, radiation, medications, and other therapies to cure a cancer, reduce the size of the cancer, or stop the progression of a cancer. Any cancer treatment can be used as the primary treatment, but the most common primary cancer treatment for the most common types of cancer is surgery.
If your cancer is particularly sensitive to radiation therapy or chemotherapy, you may receive one of these therapies as your primary treatment. Any cancer treatment can be used as adjuvant therapy. Common adjuvant therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy. Palliative treatments can help relieve side effects of treatment or signs and symptoms caused by the cancer itself.
Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy may be used to relieve symptoms. Other medicines can relieve symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath. A bone marrow transplant allows the doctor to use higher doses of chemotherapy to treat cancer. It can also be used to replace diseased bone marrow.
Some people with cancer will only receive one treatment. However, most people undergo a combination of treatments, such as surgery with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. When you need treatment for cancer, you have a lot to learn and think about. It's normal to feel overwhelmed and confused.
However, talking to your doctor and learning about the types of treatment you can receive can help you feel more controlled. Our list of questions to ask your doctor about treatment can help. Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Learn how cancer chemotherapy works, why it causes side effects, and how it is used with other cancer treatments.
Hormone therapy is a treatment that slows or stops the growth of breast and prostate cancers that use hormones to grow. Learn about the types of hormone therapy and the side effects that may occur. Hyperthermia is a type of treatment in which body tissue is heated up to 113°F to help damage and kill cancer cells with little or no damage to normal tissue. Learn about the types of cancers and precancers hyperthermia is used for, how it is administered, and the benefits and drawbacks of using hyperthermia.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system fight cancer. This page covers the types of immunotherapy, how it is used against cancer, and what to expect during treatment. Photodynamic therapy uses a light-activated drug to kill cancer and other abnormal cells. Learn how photodynamic therapy works, about the types of cancer and precancers it is used for, and the benefits and drawbacks of this treatment.
Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors. Learn about the types of radiation, why side effects occur, what side effects you might have, and more. Stem cell transplants are procedures that restore stem cells that turn into blood cells in people who have had high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy destroyed. Learn about the types of transplants, the side effects that can occur, and how stem cell transplants are used in the treatment of cancer.
Rush cancer experts talk about cancer treatments, including surgery and immunotherapy. Surgery is an option for most cancers, except blood cancers, with cancer surgeons trying to remove all or most. It is an especially effective treatment for early-stage cancers that have not spread to other parts of the body. And surgery can play a role in treating cancer even when the tumor has spread beyond its original site.
Immunotherapy, a relatively new type of cancer treatment, uses medications to speed up a patient's own immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy treatments can work on different types of cancer and can be effective in treating even the most advanced and difficult to treat cancers. Researchers are still investigating the potential of immunotherapy, but several effective drugs approved by the FDA are now frequently used to treat certain types of cancer. And immunotherapy offers some patients with advanced-stage cancer a treatment option they didn't have before, sometimes allowing them to live longer than they would have expected to live otherwise.
For example, immunotherapy has redefined the way doctors treat melanoma, the most dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer. Five years ago, the overall survival of a person diagnosed with metastatic melanoma (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) was about nine months. Today, thanks to combination immunotherapies, most patients with metastatic melanoma are alive and well at least a year later, and many live many years later. Oncologists use targeted therapies, also known as precision medicine, to tailor medications to each individual patient and cancer.
A tumor or blood sample is tested to identify a genetic profile. This allows doctors to administer medications that target the genes that cause cancer. If you have cancer, your doctor will recommend one or more ways to treat the disease. The most common treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Other options include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, laser, hormonal therapy, and others. Here's an overview of the different treatments for cancer and how they work. Chemotherapy is one of the most common types of cancer treatment. Active surveillance, also called watchful waiting.
These cancer cells cannot be detected with current tests, but they are thought to be responsible for cancer recurrence because they can grow over time. You can learn more about medications used to treat metastatic breast cancer in the Guide to Metastatic Breast Cancer. For example, patients with breast cancer are often tested to see if they carry the HER2 gene, which may play a role in the growth of breast cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, usually by preventing cancer cells from growing, dividing, and producing more cells.
Many patients 70 years of age or older with HER2-negative small hormone receptor positive disease and no clinically apparent cancer in the lymph nodes may avoid an evaluation of the lymph nodes, since the results may not change recommendations for drug therapy or radiation therapy. The goal of primary treatment is to completely eliminate cancer from the body or to kill all cancer cells. Although the breast cancer care team will specifically tailor treatment for each patient and tumor, which is called personalized medicine, there are some general steps to treat early and locally advanced breast cancer. For people who are not at very high risk of developing new cancer in the future, removing a healthy breast in a bilateral mastectomy does not prevent cancer recurrence or improve survival.
The following medicines are used to treat non-metastatic breast cancer in people with an inherited gene mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene and a high risk of breast cancer recurrence. For example, if only 1 or 2 sentinel lymph nodes have cancer and you plan to have a lumpectomy and radiation therapy to the entire breast, a dissection of the axillary lymph nodes may not be necessary. The combination of lumpectomy and radiation therapy has a slightly higher risk of cancer returning to the same breast or to the surrounding area. Hormone therapy is used to treat hormone-fueled cancers, such as cancers of the breast, prostate, and ovary.
People with mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes should talk to their doctor about which surgical option might be best for them, since they have a higher risk of developing breast cancer in the opposite breast and of developing new breast cancer in the same breast compared to those who do not have these mutations. ASCO recommends the use of olaparib to treat early-stage HER2-negative breast cancer in people with an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation and a high risk of breast cancer recurrence. In the past, with older radiation therapy equipment and techniques, people treated for breast cancer on the left side of the body had a small increase in their long-term risk of heart disease. If there is cancer in 1 or 2 sentinel lymph nodes, additional lymph node surgery can generally be avoided if the patient plans to undergo a lumpectomy and receive radiation.