Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government

Cancer Treatment

There are many types of cancer treatment. The types of treatment that you have will depend on the type of cancer you have and how advanced it is. Some people with cancer will have only one treatment. But most people have a combination of treatments, such as surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. You may also have immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or hormone therapy.

Clinical trials might also be an option for you. Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Understanding what they are and how they work can help you decide if taking part in a trial is a good option for you.

When you need treatment for cancer, you have a lot to learn and think about. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and confused. But, talking with your doctor and learning all you can about all your treatment options, including clinical trials, can help you make a decision you feel good about. Our Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Treatment may help.

  • Types of Cancer Treatment

    Learn about the different types of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

  • Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

    Find common side effects caused by cancer or cancer treatments. Know what signs and symptoms to call your doctor about, ways to manage these problems, and treatment options.

  • Find NCI-Supported Clinical Trials

    Find an NCI-supported clinical trial—and learn how to locate other research studies—that may be right for you or a loved one.

  • A to Z List of Cancer Drugs

    Consumer-friendly information about cancer drugs and drug combinations used to prevent and treat cancer.

  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    Types of therapies used in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in cancer care, such as mind-body methods like meditation and yoga, or biologically-based like herbs and vitamins. Massage, reiki, acupuncture, and traditional medical systems are included. Also mentioned are talking to your doctor about CAM and the safety of CAM.

  • Questions to Ask about Your Cancer Treatment

    Suggested questions to ask your doctor about treatment choices and the possible side effects of cancer treatment.

  • Treatment Research

    Find research articles on cancer treatment, which may include news stories, clinical trials, blog posts, and descriptions of active studies.