When you are being treated for cancer, your doctor will work with you to find a treatment plan that is right for you.

To read about treatment options for your cancer, visit our cancer information pages.

You may be able to try out a new cancer treatment by participating in a clinical trial.

Common treatments for cancer

  • Chemotherapy is a treatment with drugs that kills cancer cells. It is also called ‘chemo.’ Chemo can be given as
    • An IV (intravenously)
    • A shot (injection) into a muscle or other part of your body
    • A pill or a liquid that you swallow
    • A cream that is rubbed on your skin
    • Other forms
  • Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It is sometimes called irradiation and radiotherapy. Learn more about what to expect from radiation therapy. Radiation may come from
    • a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy)
    • radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy)
    • a radioactive substance, such as a radio labeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.
  • Surgery is a procedure to remove or repair a part of the body, or to find out whether a disease like cancer is present. Also called an operation.
  • Other treatment options may be used, such as gene therapy, biological therapy, targeted cancer therapies, and others.

You can read more about types of treatment by visiting the National Cancer Institute.

Coping with Side Effects

Treatment and Side Effects
American Cancer Society

Managing Physical Effects
National Cancer Institute

Managing Emotional Effects
National Cancer Institute

The National Lymphedema Network