Cancer treatments

Cancer treatments are being continually developed. Increasingly more effective and better-targeted treatments are available. As treatment has developed, the outcomes have improved. Treatment outcomes in Finland are outstanding by international comparisons.

The purpose of cancer treatments is that

  • cancer improves
  • the disease is brought under control
  • cancer recurrence is prevented, and
  • the symptoms caused by the tumour are alleviated.

The main forms of cancer treatment are cancer surgery (surgical treatment), radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Nowadays various immunological therapies and so-called smart drug delivery (or targeted drug delivery) are also used. There are a variety of different cancer drugs available. They are usually used in combination.

Cancer therapy is personalised, which is why treatments can vary. The choice of treatment is influenced by the location of the tumour, distribution, cell type and the patient’s overall condition as well as possible other illnesses. The advantages and disadvantages for the patient of different treatments are always assessed beforehand. A doctor decides on the kind of treatment, but as a patient you can ask questions and express your own wishes on the matter. The doctor must explain to you the grounds for and content of the treatment recommendation.

Learn about the different cancer treatments

Cancer surgery

Surgery is the first option in the treatment of many firm malignant tumours. Surgery to treat cancer removes the cancerous tumour and the healthy tissue surrounding it to prevent the spread of the tumour locally.

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Cytotoxic drugs or cytostatics

Cytotoxic drugs or cytostatics (also cytotoxic chemotherapy) are drugs used to destroy cancer cells. Cytotoxic drugs inhibit cell division and in this way cause cancer cells to die. Cytotoxic drugs are transported in the bloodstream throughout the body.

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Hormone therapy

In some cancers, cancer cells exploit the body’s hormones to grow. Hormonal cancer therapy works by preventing this activity. Hormone therapy for cancer therefore seeks to prevent production and effects of hormones that are vital for the cancer in question.

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Immunotherapy or immunological cancer therapy is a group of different treatment methods that aim to destroy cancer cells by influencing your body’s defence system in different ways.

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Radiotherapy is a common from of cancer treatment. Radiotherapy uses high energy, ionising radiation, known as radioactivity. Along with surgery, radiotherapy is another important form of treatment of localised cancer.

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Side effects of cytotoxic drugs

Cytotoxic drugs have adverse side effects. However, your functional capacity during treatment is usually good.

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Cancer pain

Cancer and its treatments can cause many different types of pain. Cancer pain is the most common and most important symptom associated with cancer regarding quality of life. Around half of people with cancer experience pain.

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Diagnosis – It can’t be true!

Everyone has their own way of dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Very often it causes a crisis.

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Problems related to eating

Syöpää sairastavalla voi olla ongelmia syömisessä, ja hän saattaa laihtua.

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