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Treatment Options & Side Effects

Karmanos provides all contemporary forms of cancer treatment and conducts research to evaluate the newest therapies. There are many ways to treat cancer; options often depend on:

  • The specific type, stage and growth rate;
  • Symptoms you're experiencing; and
  • Your overall health.

After thoroughly reviewing your case, we outline and explain your options which may include one or more of the following therapies at the same time or in progression:

  • Chemotherapy: intravenous or oral drugs are administered to fight cancer.

  • Cryoablation: highly compressed argon gas is used to freeze and remove a tumor

  • Radiation Therapy: high-energy beams or radioactive pellets are used to kills tumors.

  • Surgery: the physical removal of a tumor or lesion. 

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery: also known as laparoscopic surgery, allows Karmanos physicians to perform many types of surgical procedures through tiny incisions

  • Robotic Surgeryprovides patients and their surgeons with a state-of-the-art robotic alternative to traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy 

  • Biological Therapy or Immunotherapy: the body's own defenses, the immune system, is used to fight cancer.

  • Hormonal Therapy: is used to create or cause a response in the body to fight cancer.

  • Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplant: high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation to kill cancer cells followed by healthy bone marrow or stem cells which come from either from you (autologous) or from a donor (allogeneic). The "transplant" helps the immune system and bone marrow to recover from the drugs and/or radiation.

  • Research Studies or Clinical Trials: new therapies, new combinations of therapies, or new sequences of therapies are constantly researched to help patients live longer and/or better. If you are eligible for a study and are interested in participating, you will need to sign a consent form. Your doctor will explain clinical trials more fully and answer your questions.

  • Symptom Management: medicine and nursing care to help alleviate side effects of the cancer or its treatment, such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath or pain. Also help patients and family members to cope during the treatment and recovery process.  

  • Complementary Therapies: sometimes used to help prevent and treat symptoms. We encourage you to openly talk about any complementary therapies you are using or considering using with your health care team.

The goal of treatment may be to cure or control cancer or its symptoms. If a cure is possible, you may be treated aggressively. You may have some uncomfortable side effects.

Since everyone is different, you may not have the same side effects as someone else with the same cancer diagnosis. Call your doctor or health care provider if your side effects seem unusual, last a long time, or are not improving with the treatments you are given.

© 2014 Karmanos Cancer Institute Pencil
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
If members of the public have any quality-of-care or safety concerns, they may notify The Joint Commission at 630-792-5800.