Types of Treatment

There are different types of cancer so therefore you may receive different types of treatment or different amounts of the same treatment.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy, often called chemo, is medicine that gets rid of fast-growing cells, such as cancer cells. Chemotherapy is given to get rid of cancer cells. It can be given intravenously or in a pill form. Our bodies also have healthy cells that grow fast. Chemotherapy hurts these cells too, but they usually get better. When chemotherapy attacks healthy cells, patients may have side effects such as hair loss, upset stomach, mouth sores, fever, tiredness, or infection. Not all patients have these side effects. The side effects that you may have depend on the type of treatment you get. You treatment team will talk to you about what to expect based on your treatment plan.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses strong energy rays that you cannot see or feel. Machines focus these rays on the area of the body where the cancer is located. Radiation destroys sick cells to stop them from growing and spreading. Radiation can also hurt healthy cells that are close to the tumor, but they usually get better. When radiation hurts healthy cells, patients may have side effects such as hair loss, upset stomach, vomiting, mouth sores, tiredness, fever, and redness of the skin. Not all patients have these side effects. The side effects that you have depend on place you are being treated, and the dose of the radiation. Your treatment team will be able to discuss with you what to expect based on your treatment plan. There are many different types of radiation therapy that are available at The Cancer Center. These include TomoTherapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, 3-D conformal therapy, brachytherapy (seed implants and high-dose-rate brachytherapy), and external beam therapy. Radiation therapy may be combined with other treatment methods - such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or surgery to provide optimal care for you.

Surgery
Surgery is when a special doctor with surgical training takes out all or part of a tumor. During surgery you are given a special medicine (anesthesia) that allows you to be in a deep sleep so you cannot feel or see anything. Surgeons who perform cancer surgery include surgical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, urologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists, otolaryngologists, general surgeons, breast surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, and some dermatologists who are skilled in Mohs surgery.

The Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program
The Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program at The Cancer Center is one of the 10 largest in the United States, with more than 250 transplants performed here each year. The program's medical team delivers the latest, most advanced care; conducts international clinical research trials; and innovates cutting-edge treatment approaches. Our stem cell transplantation team has trained and/or practiced at many of the leading transplantation centers in the nation, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and Temple University Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, all in Philadelphia.