Once we have determined your exact diagnosis, a plan for treatment will begin. Every cancer is different. Treatment options vary from person to person. Your treatment plan will be specific to you and your cancer type. This plan may involve one or many types of treatment. Your doctor will meet with you to determine which options may be right for you. Below are some common treatment options:
Sometimes referred to simply as “chemo,” chemotherapy is a cancer treatment used most often to describe many different kinds of drugs used to treat cancer. Chemotherapy may be administered in a pill form or infusion. It can be used alone or with surgery and/or radiation. Your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for you and your cancer. LEARN MORE ABOUT CHEMOTHERAPY >>
Targeted therapy is just that – targeted. Traditional chemotherapy gets the good cells, the bad cells, and all the cells in-between. Targeted therapy focuses on cancer cells only. Targeted therapy works by stopping or slowing the growth or spread of cancer by going after the source. Additional testing is needed prior to treatment to drill down to the cells driving cancer.
Targeted therapy often has fewer side effects than chemotherapy because it doesn’t impact the good cells in your body. Targeted therapies can be given in pill form or through an infusion and may be given along with another treatment like chemotherapy or radiation.
Immunotherapy works with your immune system instead of working against it to help your body fight off the cancer cells. It is different from chemotherapy because instead of killing cells it is building up your immune system against them.
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays (ionizing radiation) to kill or damage cancer cells. For some, radiation is given before, during, or after other treatments. The goal of radiation is to damage as many cancer cells as possible without harming healthy tissue. To minimize damage to healthy cells, radiation doses are calculated very precisely, and treatment is often spaced out over time.
Surgery can be used in cancer care to diagnose, stage, and treat cancer. It may be used alone or in combination with other treatments.