21 September 2004

Treatment of cancer

There are basically three different types of cancer treatment.


Chemotherapy is the chemical treatment with drugs and hormones that are in the body’s system. Many normal cells are also damaged in this process, and it can cause the patient to feel quite ill for a while, but can, and often does, lead to remission of the cancer.

Radiation therapy. External x-rays at high levels are directed towards the tumour with a view to damaging or destroying the cancer cells.

Surgery. This is still the most obvious response, if the tumour is small and limited to a single area of the body.


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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst and Head of Advocacy Magdalene Seguin. For more information, visit

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