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Treatments and Side Effects

In this section you'll find general information about the types of treatments used against cancer. This includes both traditional therapies (such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy), newer forms of treatment (including information on clinical trials), and complementary and alternative therapies. We'll also discuss the possible side effects of these treatments. For more specific information on how a certain type of cancer is treated, please visit our Learn About Cancer section.

Female cancer patient receives treatment from doctor

Types of Cancer Treatment

Find out what you need to know about the many types of cancer treatment. Learn how they work and why they are used, and get an idea of what to expect and how they might affect you if you're getting them.

Female doctor talks to female patient

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are studies in which people volunteer to take part in tests of new drugs or procedures. Doctors use clinical trials to develop new treatments for serious diseases such as cancer. In this section you can learn about clinical trials in general, find tools to help you decide if a clinical trial may be right for you, and search for specific studies you may be eligible to take part in.

Close up of white pills spilling out of a bottle

Guide to Cancer Drugs

Get detailed information about the medicines used to treat cancer, including chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs, as well as medicines used to help relieve cancer symptoms.

Bottle of homeopathic medicine

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The terms "complementary" and "alternative" are sometimes used to refer to non-traditional methods of diagnosing, preventing, or treating cancer or its symptoms. Here you'll find general information to help you better understand what these terms mean and how to decide if using them is right for you. You'll also find a wealth of information on specific complementary and alternative treatments.