-The doctor prescribes a treatment based on:
the type and location of the cancer
where the disease has spread
general health status
Types of Treatments:
1. Surgery - used to remove the tumor and/or tissues around the tumor
2. Radiation Therapy - use of high dose energy rays to kill malignant cells and shrink tumors. This is a daily outpatient treatment that lasts about 4-8 weeks. It may be given before or after surgery.
3. Chemotherapy - powerful drug combo to kill cancer cells so they can not reproduce. This is given through IV infusions over several months at an outpatient clinic.
4. Hormone Therapy - changes hormone balances in the body to create a hostile environment for cancer cells
5. Biological Therapy - also known as immunotherapy - uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer. Natural or lab-made materials are used to boost the body's natural disease defenses.
6. Bone Marrow Transplants or Peripheral Stem Cell Transplants - replaces the cells that are damamged/destroyed by the disease.
- The doctor can prescribe one treatment alone or a combination of treatments.
- Treatments are either local or systemic.
Local treatments: affect cancer cells in the tumor and the cells surrounding it. Surgery and radiation therapy are local treatments.
Systemic treatments: travel through the bloodstream and reach cancer cells all over the body. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy are systemic treatments.
- There are many complementary therapies that are often utilized on a personal level along with medical treatments. Some of these include: meditation, prayer, visual imagery, exercise, relaxation techniques, and good nutrition.
- Clinical trials are also a treatment option. These are research studies that doctors conduct to learn about the effectiveness and side effects of new treatments.