There are a number of different methods available to treat cancer. They can be administered alone, or in conjunction with other treatments. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It can be administered orally or through injection, and works by killing cancerous cells throughout the body. In doing this, chemotherapy also kills healthy cells, which can lead to side effects.
- Radiation Therapy uses high energy waves to kill cancer cells. It is typically used when cancer is located in one area of the body, and has not spread. Radiation can be administered internally, through the implementation of radioactive material near the cancer, or externally by a machine outside of the body.
- Surgery can be performed for three reasons; to prevent cancer by removing tissue that is likely to become cancerous in the future, for diagnostic purposes, and to treat existing cancer by removing it.
- Hormonal Therapy involves drugs that block hormone production, which can cause certain cancers such as those of the breast and prostate to spread.
- Immunotherapy (or Biological Therapy) uses a number of methods to boost the body’s natural immune system to fight and kill cancerous cells.
In addition to these treatments, investigational research is constantly being performed, and experimental therapies are always developing. An oncologist will be able to develop a treatment plan, specific to the type and stage of a patient’s cancer.
Head & Neck Cancer