Cancer treatments are determined by several factors:
- type of cancer and its stage (whether it has spread beyond the original site),
- its characteristics,
- a patient’s general health, and
- whether the goal of treatment is to cure the cancer, keep it from spreading or relieve symptoms.
Improved treatments are the result of innovative scientific discoveries, clinical trials and new technologies. Until recent years, cancer treatments were limited to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Today’s choices may include hormonal therapy, targeted therapy, biological therapy, radiation beam surgery and complementary/alternative medicine. Treatments may be combined so a patient receives multiple therapies at the same time, or multiple drugs at once to target cancer cells at different stages of their development.
Follow the menu links on the left side of this page for a brief summary of each treatment and its side effects. The Internet offers a wealth of information. Please be aware that some websites may represent only anecdotal personal narratives and should not be viewed as scientific fact.