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Treatment for Cancer


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As cancer refers to a class of diseases, treatment of cancer depends on the

     1. Type of cancer

     2. Location and

     3. The stage of cancer

Treatment of cancer involves removal of the malignant tumor or cells using different methods and care should be taken during treating procedures to prevent spreading of the cancerous cells to the adjacent organs.

Following are some methods of treatments used to treat cancer1.


Surgery is considered in some types of cancer and aims in “entire removal” of the malignant tumor which has not undergone metastasis (spreading of the disease to other parts or organs). Surgically removing the matastases will not be of much help as there are always chances of reoccurance. Surgery is not prefered when cancer is in the early stages.Cancers affecting the pancreas, breast, ovaries, prostrate etc., are types of cancer where surgery can be considered.

Radiation Therapy

This therapy involves treating with cancerous cells with ‘radiations from the radioactive substances’. Radiations kill the cancerous cells that divide rapidly than the normal cells. Some cancer cells are resistant to radiation and cannot be treated effectively.
‘External beam radiation’ is a kind of radiation therapy, where a beam of proton or electron radiations is applied on the cancer affected area. “Intensity modulated radiation therapy” is the new kind of radiation therapy where surrounding tissues are protected to a greater extent in order to focus radiation on the specified area.

Radiation therapy plays an important role in curing many forms of cancer in the early stages. It can reduce the symptoms of certain kinds of cancer, which cannot be cured. ‘Brachytherapy’ is also a kind of radiation therapy, where the radioactive sources are administered internally.



This therapy involves treating the patients with ‘anticancer drugs’. Chemotherapic drugs should target the cancerous cells without damaging the normal cells, but most of the chemotherapeutic drugs affect the normal cells thus causing side effects. The major side effects of chemotherapy are nausea, vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, anemia and increased risk to infections. A high-dose of chemotherapy is suggested to those suffering from leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Melphalan, Cytarabine, Docetal, Tamoxifen, Gifitinib, Sunitinib etc. are some of the anticancer drugs suggested under chemotherapy.


This therapy involves activating the immune system through vaccines. These vaccines consist of antigens, which are extracted from the tumor cells.

Hormonal Therapy: 

Certain kinds of cancer like breast and prostrate can be inhibited with the help certain hormones.

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy

This therapy involves targeting the surface of the cancer cells with antibodies.

Alternate Medicine

Certain herbs are used in the treatment of cancer. Not much study has being done under this category. Alternate medicine is usually not suggested as it might prove to be toxic and hinder in the treatment of cancer. 

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 26, 2012

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