In Treatment

There are a lot of different types of treatment for cancer – they all depend on the type of cancer and where the disease is found in the body. Some teenagers or young adults, diagnosed with certain types of cancer, respond better to treatment that is tailored to younger children rather than treatments designed for older adults. Clinical trials are an important treatment option for cancer patients of all ages as they provide the most advanced treatments.

 Treatment may be given in one form, for example - surgery; or you may have more than one type of treatment for your diagnosis, for example - surgery and radiotherapy. Your consultant (oncologist / haematologist) will discuss a suitable course of treatment especially designed for you and your body. The main types of treatment are listed below:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy (where chemical substances are introduced to the body to kill cancer cells)
  • Radiotherapy (a treatment involving the use of high-energy radiation)
  • Brachytherapy (A type of internal radiotherapy)
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation (replaces damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells) and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation (a technique used to restore a person's blood cells after they have been damaged by chemotherapy or radiation)
  • Targeted Therapies (which interfere with specific molecules that control cancer cell growth)

Other Treatment Methods

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors (removing the blood supply to tumours)      
  • Biological Therapies (treatments that affect cancer cells, e.g. stop or slow cancer cell growth)
  • Cryosurgery (using extreme cold to treat tumours)
  • Hyperthermia (treating tumours with heat)
  • Lasers (using high-intensity light in to treat cancer cells)
  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT – uses a photosensitizing agent with a specific type of light to kill cancer cells)

For information on different types of cancer treatment click here.

Other issues you may have to deal with during treatment include:

  • Pain management
  • Hair loss
  • Lymphoedema (swelling that develops from a build-up of fluid in the body)
  • Fertility issues – you may discuss the possibility of treatment-related infertility with your consultant.

Information on possible side effects of treatment. Find out what to expect after your treatment has ended.