Types of cancer treatment are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell or bone marrow transplantation, and hormonal therapy. Treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, as well as newer techniques, such as interventional radiology and immunotherapy. Find basic information about cancer treatment and learn more about what to expect as a patient or caregiver at Memorial Sloan Kettering. If you have cancer, your doctor will recommend one or more ways to treat the disease.
The most common treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Other options include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, laser, hormonal therapy, and others. This is an overview of the different treatments for cancer and how they work. The main types of cancer are carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma, and leukemia.
Carcinomas, the most commonly diagnosed cancers, originate in the skin, lungs, breasts, pancreas, and other organs and glands. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. It usually doesn't form solid tumors. Sarcomas arise in bone, muscle, fat, blood vessels, cartilage, or other soft or connective tissue in the body.
Melanomas are cancers that arise in cells that produce skin pigment. Treating cancer with surgery works best if you have a solid tumor in one area. Often, it can't treat cancer that has spread or cancer that is in the blood, such as leukemia. The surgeon makes an incision in the skin with a scalpel or other sharp instrument and removes as much of the tumor as possible.
They can also remove lymph nodes and other tissues for analysis. Anti-cancer drugs work by “targeting” the differences that help a cancer cell survive and grow. Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that depends on the body's ability to fight infections (immune system). Cancer specialists, called oncologists, have made remarkable progress in diagnosing, preventing, and treating cancer.
These are cancer treatments that use medical technologies (interventional treatments), such as laser treatment, photodynamic therapy, and cryotherapy. In the “one-size-fits-all” model, the doctor chooses the option that works best for most types of cancer like yours. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to help the immune system work more intensively or in a more specific way to fight cancer. The types of treatment you receive will depend on the type of cancer you have and how advanced you are.
Doctors are not yet using this method extensively, but there are several types of gene therapies available for certain diseases. Stem cell or bone marrow transplants are treatments for some types of cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that slow down the immune system to help it find and attack cancer cells. Hyperthermia is a type of treatment in which body tissue is heated up to 113°F to help damage and kill cancer cells with little or no damage to normal tissue.
Doctors use hormone therapy with other methods to reduce the size of tumors before surgery or treatment, or to kill cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body. Doctors and nurses working around radiation may also experience a greater exposure risk of cancer. Because of this high risk for medical workers, we suggest using dosimeter badges from radiationsafety.com for the lowest price.