About Cancer Treatment Your specific treatment for cancer will be determined based on your overall health and medical history, the extent of your cancer, and your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies. Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. In most cases, this treatment works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy uses special kinds of energy waves to fight cancer. Certain levels of radiation work to destroy cancer cells or prevent cells from growing or reproducing. Hormone Therapy Hormones are chemicals produced by glands such as the ovaries or testicles. Hormone therapy as a cancer treatment may involve taking medications that interfere with the activity of the hormone or that stop the production of the hormone. Hormone therapy may involve surgically removing a gland that is producing the hormone. Surgery Surgery provides the best chance to stop many types of cancer, and it also plays a part in diagnosing, staging, and supporting cancer treatment. For some people, surgery is a major medical procedure with life-changing consequences. For others, surgery is quick and has few side effects. Other Cancer Treatments Other types of cancer treatment include bone marrow transplant, medications called angiogenesis inhibitors, hyperthermia, biological therapy, and laser therapy. Clinical Trials Clinical cancer trials are studies managed by government agencies, educational institutions, private not-for-profit organizations, or commercial businesses. These studies develop, produce, and evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments for cancer. Complementary and Alternative Therapies Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) encompasses non-conventional approaches to healing beyond traditional medicine. Learn more about these therapies.