There are many types of cancer treatment. The types of treatment that you receive will depend on the type of cancer you have and how advanced it is.

·         Surgery: many cancers are treated with surgery, it works best for solid tumors that are contained in one area and tumors that are causing pain or pressure. Surgery is not viable for cancers that have spread or cancers such as leukemia.

·         Radiation Therapy: a high dose of radiation kills cancer cells or slows their growth. Radiation is used to cure cancer, prevent cancer from recurring or to stop growth.

·         Chemotherapy: is used to treat many types of cancers. Chemotherapy works by slowing or stopping growth of cancer cell which divide and grown at a fast rate.  It is used to cure cancer, stop or slow the growth of cancer, it is also used to shrink the size of tumors.

·         Targeted Therapy: this is a type of treatment that targets the changes in cancer cells that helps them grow, divide and spread.

·         Hormone Therapy: is used to treat patients with breast and prostate cancers. This therapy can lower the risk that cancer will come back after the main treatment.

·         Stem Cell Transplant: this type of treatment, in most cancers, doesn’t work against cancer, they help patients recover their ability to produce stem cells after treatment with very high doses of radiation or chemotherapy.  However, in some leukemia the stem cell transplant may work against cancer directly. Stem cell transplant is most beneficial for patients with leukemia, and lymphoma.

Side Effects of treatment

Cancer treatments can cause side effects and problems that occur when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Side effects vary from person to person, even among those receiving the same treatment. Some people have very few side effects while others have many. The type of treatment(s) you receive, as well as the amount or frequency of the treatment, your age, and other health conditions you have may also factor into the side effects you may have.

Before you start treatment, ask your  doctor what side effects you are likely to have. Learn about steps you can take, as well as supportive care that you will receive, to lessen side effects during and after treatment.

Common side effects caused by cancer treatment include:

  • Anemia
  • Appetite Loss
  • Bleeding and Bruising (Thrombocytopenia)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Edema
  • Fatigue
  • Hair Loss (Alopecia)
  • Infection and Neutropenia
  • Lymphedema
  • Memory or Concentration Problems
  • Mouth and Throat Problems
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Nerve Problems (Peripheral Neuropathy)
  • Pain
  • Sexual and Fertility Problems (Men)
  • Sexual and Fertility Problems (Women)
  • Skin and Nail Changes
  • Sleep Problems
  • Urinary and Bladder Problems

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