Treatments

Surgery

Description: an operation to remove the cancer.

Potential side effects: depends on many factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the type of operation, and the patient's general health.

Chemotherapy

Description: the use of drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body.

Potential side effects:

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth and lip sores

Hormone Therapy

Description: focuses on limiting hormones or controlling/removing hormone producing organs.

Potential side effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Fluid retention
  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in appetite
  • In some cases, blood clots

Biological Therapy

Description: uses the body's immune system to fight disease and to lessen some of the side effects of cancer treatment.

Potential side effects:

  • Flu-like symptoms: chills, fever, muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Bleed or bruise easily
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling

Radiation Therapy

Description: targeted radiation used to kill cancer cells. Radiation can be given externally by a machine that aims radiation at the tumor area or given internally using needles, seeds, wires, or catheters.

Potential side effects: depends on the part of the body being treated:

  • Skin changes
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss in the treatment area
  • Mouth problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sexual changes
  • Swelling
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Urinary and bladder changes

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