Types of treatment

Your cancer treatment will depend on several factors, including the type of cancer you have, where it began and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. It will also depend on your general health and the type of treatment you choose and are prepared to have.

Your doctor should discuss treatment options with you and explain the benefits and risks involved.

More information

For more information about a particular treatment, speak to the treatment team or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.

The information available on this page should not be used as a substitute for advice from a properly qualified medical professional who can advise you about your own individual medical needs. It is not intended to constitute medical advice and is provided for general information purposes only. See our disclaimer.

Treatment decisions

Sometimes it is difficult to decide on the type of treatment to have. You may feel that everything is happening too fast. Check with your doctor how soon your treatment should start, and take as much time as you can before making a decision. Understanding the disease, the available treatments and possible side effects can…

Surgery

Surgery is a medical technique that involves cutting into a person’s body. It’s sometimes called an operation. Although many patients want to have surgery to ‘cut the cancer out’, it isn’t a suitable treatment for all cancers. Sometimes surgery is the most effective approach for a particular type of cancer, in other cases, non surgical treatments…

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy (sometimes just called ‘chemo’) is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. The drugs are called cytotoxics, when means toxic to cells (cyto). Some of these drugs come from natural sources such as plants, while others are completely made in a laboratory. On this page you will find…

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses a controlled dose of radiation to kill cancer cells or damage them so they cannot grow, multiply or spread. The radiation is usually in the form of focused x-ray beams, also known as photons. It can also be in other forms such as electron beams, proton beams or gamma rays from radioactive sources.  It…

Targeted therapies

Targeted therapy is a type of drug treatment that attacks the specific features of cancer cells, known as molecular targets, to stop the cancer growing and spreading. How does targeted therapy work? Targeted therapy drugs circulate throughout the body. Each drug acts on a specific molecular target within or on the surface of cancer cells…

Side-effects

Treatment side effects vary depending on the type of cancer you have, the stage of the cancer, and the type of treatment you are given. The changes can be both physical and emotional. Some side effects resolve quickly; others can take weeks, months or even years to improve. Your body will cope with the treatment and…