Think Beyond Cancer
Ask Think Beyond Cancer

Cancer is curable and this is true for most types of cancer, if diagnosed and treated at an earlier stage. Doctors recommend cancer treatment depending on various factors, which include the type of cancer, the size and location of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread, and the overall health of the patient. Treatment can be given with the aim of curing the cancer, controlling it or relieving symptoms. People are often given more than one type of treatment for their cancer.

The first treatment give to a person is called first-line therapy. Adjuvant therapy is treatment that is given after the first treatment (such as chemotherapy after surgery). Neoadjuvant therapy is treatment that is given before the primary treatment (such as radiation therapy before surgery).

The most common cancer treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. These therapies may be used either alone or in combination with other therapies. Other cancer treatment options include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and bone marrow/stem cell transplantation. Explaining some of the treatments:

  • Surgery: A procedure wherein the cancerous cells are removed.
  • Chemotherapy: It is the treatments that use chemical agents (drugs) to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiotherapy: A treatment for cancer and other diseases using ionizing radiation.
  • Targeted Therapy: A new treatment, which attacks just cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy: A treatment that helps the immune system fight cancer.
  • Hormone Therapy: A treatment aimed at reducing cancer-growth-promoting hormones.

Acute GVHD
Before beginning treatment, the patient must consider asking the doctor about the goals of treatment, how long the treatment will take, and the potential side effects. Knowing what to expect before treatment begins can reduce any fear and anxiety the cancer treatment plan.

Cancer can be treated in different ways depending on what type of cancer it is, where it is in the body and whether it has spread. Knowing more about what the treatments involve can help you be prepared for them and their possible side effects.