Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells.
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Surgery The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer or as much of the cancer as possible.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
Radiation Therapy uses high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells. Radiation treatment can come from a machine outside your body (external beam radiation), or it can be placed inside your body (brachytherapy).
Bone Marrow Transplant Your bone marrow is the material inside your bones that makes blood cells from blood stem cells. A bone marrow transplant, also knowns as a stem cell transplant, can use your own bone marrow stem cells or those from a donor. A bone marrow transplant allows your doctor to use higher doses of chemotherapy to treat your cancer. It may also be used to replace diseased bone marrow.
Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, uses your body’s immune system to fight cancer. Cancer can survive unchecked in your body because your immune system doesn’t recognize it as an intruder. Immunotherapy can help your immune system “see” the cancer and attack it.
Hormone Therapy Some types of cancer are fueled by your body’s hormones. Examples include breast cancer and prostate cancer. Removing those hormones from the body or blocking their effects may cause the cancer cells to stop growing.
Targeted Drug Therapy focuses on specific abnormalities within cancer cells that allow them to survive.
Cryoablation kills cancer cells with cold. During cryoablation, a thin, wandlike needle (cryoprobe) is inserted through your skin and directly into the cancerous tumor. A gas is pumped into the cryoprobe in order to freeze the tissue. Then the tissue is allowed to thaw. The freezing and thawing process is repeated several times during the same treatment session in order to kill the cancer cells.
Radiofrequency Ablation uses electrical energy to heat cancer cells, causing them to die. During radiofrequency ablation, a doctor guides a thin needle through the skin or through an incision and into the cancer tissue. High-frequency energy passes through the needle and causes the surrounding tissue to heat up, killing the nearby cells.
Clinical Trials are studies to investigate new ways of treating cancer. Thousands of cancer clinical trials are underway.