to keep cancer from returning
Understand your options before
you decide whether adjuvant
therapy is for you. Balance
the side effects with the benefits
of treatment when making your
already had surgery to remove your tumor.
But how can you be sure that some cancer
cells aren't hiding away in other parts
of your body?
doctor might suggest adjuvant therapy as
a way to target any remaining cancer cells
that haven't been identified. Adjuvant therapy
is used after primary treatments, such as
surgery or radiation, to decrease the chance
that your cancer will recur. But the added
benefit of adjuvant therapy doesn't come
without a price — the side effects
can be more than minor inconveniences. Work
with your doctor to determine if adjuvant
therapy is right for you.
effective is adjuvant therapy?
Because none of these treatments is completely
harmless, it's important to determine the
risks of adjuvant therapy versus the benefits.
The following factors can help you and your
doctor determine whether adjuvant therapy
is appropriate for you and, if so, which
types of cancer — especially breast,
prostate, colon and ovarian cancers —
benefit greatly from adjuvant therapy. Some
other types of cancer might not benefit.
larger tumor is more likely to have spread
throughout your body than a smaller tumor.
Number of lymph nodes involved. The larger
the number of lymph nodes involved, the
greater the chance that cancer cells will
be left behind after local therapy, such
Hormone receptivity. Hormone therapy won't
be effective if your tumor is not hormonally
Receiving adjuvant therapy doesn't guarantee
your cancer won't recur. It can, however,
help reduce the risk that your cancer will
Which adjuvant therapy is best for you is
based on your type of cancer and its stage.
therapy for you?
you're deciding whether adjuvant therapy
is right for you, you might want to discuss
the following issues with your doctor:
procedures are you considering?
Get to know exactly what will be expected
of you during treatment. Will you have
to see your doctor for injections or
will you take pills at home?
the side effects? What
side effects are you willing to live
with? Which ones will be too much for
you to endure? Do you plan to work or
stay active during treatment? Could
side effects interfere with your plans?
What are the chances you'll
stay cancer-free? Understand
how likely it is that your cancer will
return if you decide against further
therapy and how much improvement you
might experience if you do undergo additional
therapy. Your doctor can estimate how
well your treatment will work based
on comparisons with data accumulated
from studies of other people with your
same type of cancer, at the same stage
and given the same treatment. Remember
that this is only a prediction.
Together you and your doctor can weigh these
factors and decide whether the benefits
of adjuvant therapy outweigh the risks for
to "Oncology Treatment"