Cancer - A Killer Disease - Forms of Treatment



  1. Cancer - A Killer Disease - Introduction and Types
  2. Cancer - A Killer Disease - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention
  3. Cancer - A Killer Disease - Types of Treatment


There is no real cure for cancer. But if you go to the doctor early enough it may be treated successfully.

About a hundred years ago people who developed cancer were certain to die. Today, medicine has made so much progress that about half of all cancer patients can be treated successfully depending on the form of cancer.

There are three basic methods of cancer treatment:



If a cancer is only in one place doctors can remove tumours by surgery. Antibiotics and blood transfusions make cancer surgery more successful than in past times.

In many cases a pathologist examines cancer cells during an operation and then decides how much tissue must be removed. Very often, healthy tissue around the tumour is also taken away in order to make sure all cancer cells are removed.



The discovery of X-rays has lead to a treatment called radiotherapy. When surgery is too dangerous or risky radiotherapy is a good alternative. In this form of treatment X-rays or gamma rays are beamed directly at the tumour. Cancer cells are killed off and do not multiply any more.



If a cancer has already spread to other parts of the body or has invaded other organs doctors use chemotherapy. Chemicals are injected into your body or you take them by mouth. They then travel throughout your body and kill off cancer cells wherever they find them. Often a combination of drugs is used because some drugs reduce the size of cancer tumours only for a short time.

This form of treatment can be very risky because the chemicals may destroy healthy stem cells if they are too strong.



Other forms

Recently , new forms of treatment have been discovered and tried out. Immunotherapy strengthens the immune system of the body by producing antibodies.

Gene therapy is a very new form of cancer treatment. New, healthy genes are inserted into the tumour to help fight the disease.


Whatever form of treatment is chosen some side effects always occur. Surgery, for example, may lead to the loss of an organ, like a woman’s breast that must be removed.

During radiotherapy or chemotherapy many cancer patients lose their hair, develop bad skin and become more tired. Other side effects include bleeding, infection, vomiting or diarrhoea. Sometimes people who have been treated with cancer become infertile – they can’t have children any more.


Researchers and scientists have been working hard to find a cure for cancer. Governments around the world have been spending a lot of money over the past decades to find better ways of fighting this disease.



Cancer Facts

  • One in three of us will be diagnosed with cancer during our life
  • Each year more than 7 million people around the world die of cancer.
  • Cancer accounts for 13% of all deaths worldwide
  • Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer (1.3 million deaths per year)
  • Tobacco use is the greatest risk factor for cancer
  • More than 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle income counties.


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Related Topics




  • account for = is responsible for
  • antibody = material that your body produces to fight off diseases
  • basic = main, most important
  • beam = ray
  • bleeding = if blood comes out of parts of your body
  • common = widespread; something that happens very often
  • cure = something that makes an illness go away
  • decade = ten years
  • depend on = you cannot say for sure
  • destroy = damage completely
  • develop = grow
  • diagnose = to find out what illness someone has
  • diarrhea =an illness in which you often have to go to the toilet and the waste from your body is watery and comes out often
  • discover = to find for the first time
  • disease = illness
  • examine = look at , inspect
  • gene therapy = form of treatment in which genes are put into the ill parts of your body
  • income = the money you get when you work
  • infertile =not able to have babies
  • inject = to put into your body with a needle
  • insert = to put into
  • invade = attack , get into
  • loss = to lose something
  • multiply =grow, increase
  • occur = happen
  • pathologist = a person who examines and studies a part of your body
  • patient = a person who has a disease or who is ill
  • progress =to improve something so that it gets better
  • recently = in the last few years
  • reduce = to make smaller
  • remove = to take away
  • remove = to cut out of your body
  • researcher = a person who studies atopic and the effects it has
  • scientist =a person who is trained in science
  • side effect = an additional effect that medicine has on your body
  • spread = to go or move from one place to another
  • stem cells = a special type of cell that can divide and make other cells that have other qualities
  • strengthen =to make stronge r
  • successful = to be good at something and to reach what you wanted
  • surgery = to cut open your body and remove or repair something
  • throughout = in all of
  • tissue = the cells that form different soft parts of your body
  • transfusion = to transfer blood from one person to another
  • treat = to cure an illness by using medicine or operation
  • treatment =something that is done to cure an ill person
  • vomit = to bring up food from your stomach through your mouth because you are ill
  • X-ray =rays that can go through objects and is used for taking a picture of the inside of someone’s body