Because there is not one but many different types of cancers and because each patient is unique, different types of treatment can be offered. They are prescribed alone or in combination. The choice of treatments is adapted according to each situation.
The main types of cancer treatments are:
- Targeted therapies
- Hormone therapy
- Stem cell transplants
All of these treatments are aimed at eliminating cancer cells. They act either locally, that is to say only on the cancer cells of an affected organ, or in a general way, that is to say on all the cancer cells present in the organism.
Cancer treatments are administered by cancer specialists (oncologists) who specialize in radiotherapy or chemotherapy and other drug treatments. Surgeons use their surgical skills to remove tumors.
The type of treatment you will get hinge on several factors, including:
- The type of cancer you have
- Cancer stage
- Your personal preferences
- Your age
Sometimes people with the same type of cancer may receive different treatments. Some people will receive only one treatment, but most people will receive a combination of treatments, such as surgery combined with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or both.
When several types of treatment are combined, they can be administered together or at different times.
First-line treatment is the first treatment administered for a type of cancer. This treatment is the most common or preferred treatment (standard). It is also called the main processing.
Neoadjuvant therapy is a treatment that is given beforehand other treatments, such as surgery. It can be used when the tumor is too large to be removed by surgery. This type of treatment may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or hormone therapy.
Adjuvant therapy is a treatment used to destroy cancer cells that may remain after surgery and to diminish the risk of cancer coming back (recurring).
Purposes of processing:
Treatment is given for different reasons. Sometimes the purpose of the treatment changes over time.
1. Prevention (prophylaxis)
Treatment is provided to prevent the development of cancer cells or to remove precancerous tissue that could turn into cancer.
Treatment is given to cure cancer.
The purpose of this treatment is to control cancer and prevent it from growing and dissemination. It also moderates the risk of cancer coming back.
4. Palliative care
When cancer cannot be cured or brought under control, treatment can be given to relieve the pain or alleviate the symptoms of advanced cancer.
Types of treatments
There are the following types of treatment.
Local treatment focuses on a specific part of the body. It is often used when cancer is present only in one region. Radiotherapy and surgery are examples of local treatment.
Systemic treatment circulates in the blood to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Many chemotherapeutic agents are systemic treatments that are absorbed by the cells and tissues of the body.
Targeted therapy uses drugs to target particular molecules, such as proteins located on the surface or inside of cancer cells. By pursuing these molecules, the drugs stop the growth and spread of cancer cells, thereby limiting damage to normal cells.
Treatment side effects
No matter what treatment, side effects are possible. But each person experiences them differently. Side effects do not affect everyone, and if they do, not everyone experiences it the same way. Side effects may appear during or after treatment. They can be absorbed quickly or last for a long time.
There are several types of cancer treatments. However, the objective is the same for everyone: to offer the treatment that will have the best chance of success!