A Guide to Different
Cancer Treatments

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When it comes to cancer, there are a variety of treatment options available, and what treatment is advised will be based on what type of cancer is diagnosed. Each treatment is unique and has advantages and considerations, which is why it is important to be informed.

This piece should guide you through the different types of cancer treatments available so that you can make informed decisions about your care or help others with theirs.


This is one of the more common forms of cancer treatment and is often favored as it is localized. It involves removing a cancerous tumor from the body. However, this will depend on the location and size of the tumor and which surgery would be the best fit, for example, open surgery or minimally invasive techniques such as keyhole surgery.

Radiation Therapy

Another common form of treatment is radiation therapy. The use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells can be a more damaging treatment than surgery. However, it can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with surgery and chemotherapy, which makes it a great addition if that extra boost is needed.

It is also worth knowing that radiation therapy can be given externally or internally, depending on the type and location of the cancer.


Chemotherapy (chemo) essentially means using drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs can be given intravenously or orally, and chemo can be given as a standalone treatment or in combination with surgery and radiation therapy too. Unfortunately, there are common side effects with chemotherapy, such as hair loss, fatigue, and nausea.


Another treatment that can be used for cancer is immunotherapy, which involves using the body's immune system to fight cancer. This treatment works by helping the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells. Immunotherapy can be used by itself or in combination with other treatments.

Moffitt Cancer Center will be able to give you more information on specific cancer symptoms, signs, treatment, and aftercare.

Targeted Therapy

This therapy uses drugs that specifically target cancer cells, which works by blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells. Targeted therapy is great for mitigating unnecessary damage while being used alone or can also be used in combination with other treatments.

Hormone Therapy

If someone has cancer that is hormone-sensitive, such as breast and prostate cancer, then hormone therapy is used to treat these types of cancers. This treatment works by blocking the production of hormones that can fuel the growth of those cancer cells.

Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplant is a treatment used for certain types of cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma. It involves replacing someone's diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells. It is a lengthy process, and that person will also need a donor match.

Clinical Trials

Some clinical trials and research studies test new cancer treatments. These studies are designed to find better ways to treat cancer and improve patient outcomes. Participating in a clinical trial can give patients access to new treatments that may not yet be available to the general public.

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