Treatments depend on the stage of the cancer and its type. The type is determined in part by microscopic exam and other studies. Your doctor will discuss treatment options and the plan that will be most effective for you. Treatment options include:
- Chemotherapy: This treatment option involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given in many forms, including pills, injection or via a catheter.
- External radiation therapy: Radiation is directed at the tumor from a source outside the body to kill the cancer cells.
- Bone marrow transplantation: A patient may use his or her own bone marrow. In this case, bone marrow is removed, treated and frozen. Large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are then applied to kill the cancer cells. After treatment, the bone marrow is replaced via a vein. Marrow may also be donated from a healthy donor.
- Peripheral stem cell transplantation: Stem cells are very immature cells that produce blood cells. They are removed from circulating blood before chemotherapy or radiation treatment. These cells are then replaced after treatment in order to help develop new healthy cells.
- Biological therapy: These medications or substances are produced by the body and increase or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. One type of biological therapy, interferons, interferes with the division of cancer cells and can slow tumor growth. Interferons are produced by the body, or can be fabricated in the lab to treat cancer and other diseases. In some instances, a drug or antibody is linked to a radioactive substance that is directed at the tumor.