There are three main treatment options for cancer: chemotherapy, radiation therapy,
and surgery. An oncologist
will explain your treatment plan to you and can answer any questions you may
uses drugs, hormones or biological agents to treat widespread cancer. Chemotherapy
is given intravenously, by injections or in pill form. Your treatment length
depends on the type of disease and stage of cancer, and the drugs prescribed
to treat you. Of all cancer patients, about half will need chemotherapy
and half will need radiation therapy. You may also receive a combination
of chemotherapy and radiation.
for more information on chemotherapy.
If you are from the region, your first chemotherapy treatment is usually
given in Thunder Bay. Wherever possible, future treatments are given as
close to home as possible in one of the 13 regional clinics. You are treated
as an outpatient at the cancer centre if your treatment length is seven
hours or less. For longer treatments, we will admit you to our dedicated
Oncology Inpatient area, Unit 1A.
for more information on our Oncology Inpatient Unit.
Radiation therapy uses radiation similar to x-rays to destroy cancerous
cells or shrink the tumours. External or internal radiation is used. External
radiation uses large, state of the art, computerized machines to deliver
radiation precisely to the area with cancer. Internal radiation places radioactive
seeds in contact with the cancer, in the area from which the cancer was
removed, or inside the tumour for certain disease types.
for more information on radiation therapy.
Treatments may have some side effects, which will affect
each patient differently. You may have a few side effects
or none at all. Side effects may include:
- Hair loss
- Changes in your skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in your appetite
- Sores in your mouth
- Changes in your blood count
- Pain and discomfort
Your oncologist will explain the side effects that are most
common to the treatment and make recommendations on what you
can do if a side effect occurs.