- How is a cancer of unknown primary treated?
- Surgery for cancer of unknown primary
- Radiation therapy for cancer of unknown primary
- Chemotherapy for cancer of unknown primary
- Hormone therapy for cancer of unknown primary
- Targeted therapy for cancer of unknown primary
- Other drugs for cancer of unknown primary
- Clinical trials for cancer of unknown primary
- Complementary and alternative therapies for cancer of unknown primary
- Treatment of specific instances of a cancer of unknown primary
- Palliative care for cancer of unknown primary
- More treatment information
How is a cancer of unknown primary treated?
General treatment information
After your cancer is diagnosed, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. Choosing a treatment plan is an important decision, so it’s important to take time and think about all of the choices.
In creating your treatment plan, the most important factors to consider are the type of cancer and its location. Your cancer care team will also take into account your general state of health and your personal preferences.
Treatment for cancer of unknown primary (CUP) may include:
It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. If time permits, it’s often a good idea to get a second opinion. A second opinion can give you more information and help you feel confident about your chosen treatment plan.
Often, CUP is too advanced to be cured, and the goal may be to shrink the cancer for a time, in hopes of improving symptoms and helping you live longer. This treatment is considered palliative or supportive care, because it’s meant to relieve symptoms such as pain, but is not expected to cure the cancer.
The next few sections describe the different types of treatment that may be used for CUP. This is followed by a discussion of the typical treatments used for some of the more common instances of CUP.
Last Medical Review: 03/12/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014