Also known as 'Adjuvant Therapies', these treatments are sometimes given in addition to primary treatment (such as surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy) to maximize your chances of becoming cancer-free.
Three common types of Adjuvant Cancer Therapies
For certain types of cancer, such as breast, prostrate, or gynecological, it is advisable to request a hormone receptor test of the tumor. This will determine whether or not the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones.
Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can attach to cancer cells and help them grow.
If the test is positive, hormone therapy may be given to block the way the hormone works and help keep the hormone away from the cancer cells. If the test is negative, the cancer cells are not affected by hormones.
If the test suggests that the hormones are affecting your cancer, it may be given:
· to reduce the risk of cancer coming back after surgery
· to reduce the size of your cancer before surgery
· to prevent the cancer from coming back or spreading
Others help the immune system destroy cancer cells or stop cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
Several immunotherapy drugs have been approved to fight cancer, and hundreds more are being tested in clinical trials.
However, currently immunotherapy only works for less than half the people who try it. Many people only have a partial response, meaning their tumor may stop growing or shrinks, but it doesn’t go away. Your body may also get used to it over time, and immunotherapy may stop having an effect on your cancer cells. This means that even if it works at first, your tumor could start to grow again eventually.
Immunotherapy, aka 'Biologic' or 'Biosimilar Therapy', is a type of treatment that boosts the body’s immune system to prevent, control, and eliminate cancer cells. Cancer can commonly get around many of the immune system’s natural defenses, allowing cancer cells to continue to grow. Immunotherapy uses substances to improve how your immune system works to find and destroy cancer cells.
Some immunotherapy treatments help the immune system stop or slow the growth of cancer cells.
Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules inside cancer cells or on their surface.
There are different kinds of targeted therapies, all very precise and personalized depending of the type of molecule and cell it's attacking.
Targeted therapies are precise, personalized treatments, which use information about your genes to prevent, diagnose, and treat your disease.
Many targeted cancer therapies have been approved by the FDA to treat specific types of cancer, while many are currently being studied in clinical trials.
Questions to ask your doctor about Adjuvant Therapies:
1. Am I a candidate for Hormonal Therapy, Immunotherapy, or Targeted Therapy?
2. If so, how would it fit into my treatment care plan?
3. Would the benefits out weigh the risks?
4. Has this therapy been around long enough to know if there are potential long-term side effects?
5. If I receive this therapy, could it replace chemo or radiation therapy?
6. Are there any clinical trials for these therapies for which I may qualify?