Everything You Need to Know About Cancer Treatments

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 20/12/2020 . 4 mins read
Share now

What are the different types of cancer treatment?

Cancer treatment can vary from patient to patient. Some patients only need one treatment, whereas others need a combination of treatments.

Why is Cancer Treatment Done?

Ideally, cancer treatment will cure your cancer. However, the goal of treatment can vary based on your case. Cancer treatments can be used as:

  • Primary treatment
    Primary treatment is meant to completely kill all cancer cells or remove all of the cancer.
  • Adjuvant treatment
    Adjuvant treatment is meant to kill any leftover cancer cells after primary treatment.
  • Palliative treatment
    These kinds of treatments help relieve symptoms of the cancer or side effects of treatment.

How to Prevent Cancer Metastasis: Here Are Some Things You Can Do

Here is a quick look at some cancer treatments and how they work.

What are the Different Types of Cancer Treatment?

Surgery

A very common way to treat cancer is through surgery. It is done to remove a part of the body to treat or diagnose cancer.

You may get surgery to remove certain tissues to prevent the cancer from spreading. A doctor may also perform surgery to remove part or all of a tumor to diagnose whether it is cancerous or not. It also helps a doctor learn how advanced the cancer is (often called staging).

It can also be done as primary treatment. If the cancer has not spread and is localized, it could potentially cure your cancer.

In some cases, surgery may only decrease the size of the tumor to make other different types of cancer treatment, like radiation, more effective. It can also help relieve side effects or symptoms.

Surgery can address nearly all kinds of cancer. However, it depends on the severity of your case and how dangerous it would be.

Your surgery can be either open or minimally invasive. A surgeon uses one big cut to perform the procedure whereas a few small incisions will be made for a minimally invasive surgery.

There are many kinds of cancer surgery, but some common kinds include:

Electrosurgery

This procedure kills cancer cells with high-frequency electrical currents. Commonly used on the skin or in the mouth.

Laparoscopic Surgery

To avoid making big incisions, a doctor will use a laparoscope to get a look into the body. A doctor will make a few small incisions, then use the laparoscope and other surgical tools to see inside the body.

This type is often done for symptom relief, treatment, and diagnosing cancer. It is a minimally invasive surgery.

Cryosurgery

A doctor will use very cold materials like a cold probe or liquid nitrogen spray to freeze, then destroy cancer cells or potentially cancerous cells. For instance, it can destroy irregular cells in the cervix that could cause cervical cancer.

Possible side effects of surgery include pain, bleeding, infection, blood clots, loss of organ function, etc. The side effects and risks will vary for each surgery and your specific case.

Radiation Therapy

This treatment uses intense energy beams to destroy cancer cells. It usually uses x-rays, though other sources, like protons may be used.

Different kinds of radiation therapy can address different kinds of cancer. For instance, brachytherapy is often for cancers in the eye, prostate, head and neck, cervix, and breast.

Ideally, the cancer would immediately respond to treatment. However, it may take a long time or your cancer may never respond to radiation therapy.

You may get immediate side effects or not see them until months after starting treatment. The side effects vary based on what part of the body is getting treatment. Common side effects include:

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy in Cancer Treatment: All You Need to Know

Of the different types of cancer treatment, chemotherapy is the most familiar.

This is a drug treatment where powerful chemicals kill fast-growing cells. Some people may only get chemotherapy as their treatment, or get it with other treatments.

Chemotherapy can treat many kinds of cancer and there are many kinds of chemotherapeutic drugs. Chemotherapy can also ease symptoms and prepare you for other kinds of treatments.

The kind of chemotherapy you get will depend on your case. There are different formulations for you to get the drugs as well, such as pills, cream, infusions, etc.

Chemotherapy can be an effective way to treat many kinds of cancer. However, there are side effects, which can be mild, but some can lead to more serious complications.

Common side effects include easily bruising, vomiting, nausea, hair loss, pain, etc. Late-developing and long-lasting side effects include kidney problems, infertility, risk of getting a second cancer, etc.

Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplants are often for people who have previously received some form of treatment. It helps restore the blood-forming stem cells, as it can greatly decrease from high doses of radiation or chemotherapy.

There are three kinds of stem cell transplants, which are:

  • Autologous
    The stem cells will come from you
  • Syngeneic
    The stem cells come from an identical twin
  • Allogeneic
    The stem cells come from a different person

Keep in mind that this treatment does not treat cancer itself. As mentioned earlier, it helps you recover the ability to create stem cells after other kinds of cancer treatments.

Although, it can directly work against cancer depending on what kind it is like some kinds of leukemia and in multiple myeloma.

However, it still poses some side effects, which can include higher risk of infection, bleeding, etc.

Key Takeaways

Keep in mind that the different types of cancer treatment above are common. You may have more or less options depending on what cancer you have and its severity.

Learn more about cancer, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Was this article helpful for you ?
happy unhappy

You might also like

What’s the Connection Between Obesity and Cancer?

What exactly is the connection between obesity and cancer? Can a person's unmanaged weight increase their chances of developing cancer? Find out here.

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Kip Soliva
Cancer Causes and Risk Factors 30/12/2020 . 4 mins read

Understanding Sex Differences in Cancer Risk and Survival

Are women or men more likely to develop cancer? Learn more about the sex differences in cancer risk and survival by reading this article.

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos
Cancer Causes and Risk Factors 30/12/2020 . 4 mins read

9 Cancer Screening Tests for Young Adults

Early detection is truly the best form of cancer prevention. Learn all about the best cancer screening tests for young adults, here.

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Tracey Romero
Cancer Prevention 30/12/2020 . 4 mins read

Cancer Prevention: Why Screening Tests Are Important For Men

It’s a known fact that men are more susceptible to cancer more than women. This is why screening for cancer should be a priority especially for elderly adults who are male or at risk of certain types of cancer. Learn more about the recommended cancer screening tests for men, and the importance of screening for cancer even if you don’t experience any symptoms.

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Kip Soliva
Cancer Prevention 28/12/2020 . 4 mins read

Recommended for you

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer To Watch out for

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Kip Soliva
Published on 05/01/2021 . 4 mins read
obvious change in a wart or mole

Wart or mole changes: When is it a Sign of Skin Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Tracey Romero
Published on 05/01/2021 . 5 mins read
stomach cancer stage 3 survival rate

Stomach Cancer Stage 3 Survival Rate: Prognosis and Treatment

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Den Alibudbud
Published on 04/01/2021 . 4 mins read
ways to prevent stomach cancer

11 Ways to Prevent Stomach Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Den Alibudbud
Published on 04/01/2021 . 4 mins read