Typical Forms of Cancer Treatments


Cancer treatments come in a variety of forms. The doctor prescribes the cancer drugs either alone or in conjunction with other therapies. The sort of cancer you have will determine the type of medication you require. The optimal kind and mix will depend on a number of variables, including the severity of the ailment and the individual’s general health.

A doctor may recommend one medicine or a group of medicines. Traditional or normal chemotherapy has been useful to treat cancer up until recently, but three new classes of specialist drugs—hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

Cancer Treatments

Standard Chemotherapy

Cancer cells are destroyed with conventional chemotherapy drugs. It functions by eradicating or preventing the body’s cancer cells from proliferating and dividing. Radiation therapy or surgery is frequently combined with chemotherapy.

These drugs can destroy healthy cells and are exceedingly potent. The negative effects of conventional chemotherapy frequently attributes to harm to healthy cells. The patient can take these medications orally, intravenously (into a vein), or as an injection into a particular part of the body.

Hormonal Therapy

These medications target various hormone actions that some tumors use to grow. Certain breast, and endometrial (uterine) cancers, which typically spread in reaction to the body’s natural sex hormones, slow down by these medications. They function by blocking the body from producing the hormone. Also, by preventing the cancer cells from using the hormone they require to grow.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted treatments function by identifying particular molecules, such as proteins or receptors, that some cancer cells have. Drugs do not damage normal cells since they specifically target the protein or receptor.

This operates differently from the way conventional chemotherapy medicines do. Targeted medications can be beneficial as the primary form of treatment for cancer or as maintenance therapy to keep the disease under control or prevent a recurrence.


Medicines are usable in immunotherapy, a type of treatment, to strengthen or modify the immune system. When a patient has a certain type of cancer, these medications aid the immune system in identifying and eliminating cancer cells.

Do the side effects of immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormonal therapy resemble those of chemotherapy?

The side effects that are frequently associated with chemotherapy are frequently absent from hormonal, targeted, and immunological treatments. Hair loss, nausea, and vomiting, as well as a compromised immune system, are frequent side effects of chemotherapy. Other forms of adverse effects, such as skin rashes, diarrhea, or heat flashes, could also result from these new treatments. Yet, compared to the adverse effects of conventional chemotherapy, these are typically more bearable.

Do cancer treatments ever combine?

Yes. Your cancer specialist may occasionally decide to mix chemotherapy with these more recent treatments. The type of cancer, the extent of the tumor’s development, and the patient’s general condition are frequently taken into consideration while deciding whether to combine therapy.

Do all cancer treatments involve intravenous administration?

No. Numerous of these new treatment alternatives, including some modern chemotherapy drugs, can administer intravenously or orally. These other therapies are frequently more practical for patients. Also, some of them a patient can utilize or take at home.

The Bottom Line

Many pharmaceuticals with various therapeutic approaches serve the treatment of cancer. Each form of the drug has advantages and disadvantages, and specialists can recommend the best course of action in each specific circumstance. Also, these drugs may be useful as a stand-alone form of treatment or in conjunction with other methods. Moreover, the length and severity of the medication will determine with cancer’s severity and the patient’s general condition.