A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. Some cancers grow and spread fast. Others grow more slowly. They also respond to treatment in different ways. Some types of cancer are best treated with surgery; others respond better to drugs called chemotherapy (key-mo-THER-uh-pee). Often 2 or more treatments are used to get the best results.

Most common types

  • Breast cancer

Its treatment depends on the stage of cancer. It may consist of chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy and surgery.

  • Prostate cancer

Some types of prostate cancer grow slowly. In some of these cases, monitoring is recommended. Other types are aggressive and require radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy or other treatments.

  • Basal cell cancer

Treatments include prescription creams or surgery to remove the cancer. In some cases radiation therapy may be required.

  • Melanoma

Treatment may involve surgery, radiation, medication or in some cases, chemotherapy.

  • Colon cancer

Colorectal cancer treatment depends on the size, location and how far the cancer has spread. Common treatments include surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

  • Lung cancer

Treatments vary but may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy and immunotherapy.

  • Leukemia

Treatment is highly variable. For slow-growing leukaemias, treatment may include monitoring. For aggressive leukaemias, treatment includes chemotherapy that’s sometimes followed by radiation and stem-cell transplant.

  • Lymphoma

Treatment may involve chemotherapy, medication, radiation therapy and rarely stem-cell transplant.