Cancer Treatment

Treatment options

It is important to know that not all medicines and drugs work to treat cancer in the same way. There are a lot of different treatments for cancer with many more being studied. Drug treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy are often referred to as systemic or a way to treat the entire body. There are three different goals of treatment: curative intent, control, palliation. 

Curative intent: This term is used when a treatment is given that has a chance of curing a person’s cancer. 

Control: If cure is not possible, the goal of control is to give treatment so the disease is stable. The cancer can then be managed as a chronic disease and controlled with treatment. 

Palliation: The goal of palliation is to relieve symptoms caused by the cancer. When cancer reaches advanced stage, no longer able to control  and continues to progress the goal of giving treatment is to improve quality of life.

Chemotherapy can also be used with other treatments such as surgery, radiation, or both. It can also be used with other drugs such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy. 

In this health unit

  • What chemotherapy is
  • Oral chemotherapy
  • Infusion chemotherapy
  • Common side effects of treatment
  • Palliative care
  • What to do in the first 48 hours after treatment, and
  • Managing symptoms of chemotherapy

More information can be found at Cancer.org 

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