Treating cancer is extremely complex. It often involves a team of medical specialists working together to design the best course of action based on the latest scientific evidence. As the exact nature of the cancer varies from person to person, your treatment plan is personalised to your specific condition. It may involve one or more forms of treatment and it is highly likely that you will consult with a surgeon, a medical oncologist and perhaps a radiation oncologist. Your specialist doctors will explain why a certain treatment approach is being recommended and what it involves. It’s important to ask questions, particularly if there is something you don’t quite understand or are unsure about. Having a friend, family member or carer accompany you to your appointments can also be helpful as there is usually a lot of information to take in.
Treating cancer with medicines
When you think of medicines to treat cancer, the word ‘chemotherapy’ or ‘chemo’ probably springs to mind. Chemotherapy is generally associated with cancer killing drugs that are injected into a vein (called an intravenous infusion), but some chemotherapy medications can also be given as oral tablets.
Chemotherapy may be offered as a stand-alone treatment for cancer, or as part of a combined approach together with surgery and/or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can also be used to help control cancer when a cure may not be possible.
Many different medications exist to treat cancer. Some work across multiple cancer types, whereas others are far more specific and may only be effective for one type of cancer.
Across Australia, the UK, the USA and Spain we have over 440 oncology, cardiology & sleep medicine centres.
Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer preventing them from dividing and spreading further.