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Cancer treatments

That may affect oral health-related quality of life

In this page are the most common types of cancer treatments. Some people with cancer will have only one treatment. But most people have a combination of treatments, such as surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.


Surgery is one of the main treatments for cancer. It can be used to diagnose, treat, or even help prevent cancer in some cases. Most people with cancer will have some type of surgery. It often offers the greatest chance for cure, especially if the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.


Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. At low doses, radiation is used in x-rays to see inside your body, as with x-rays of your teeth or broken bones. It is one of the most common treatments for cancer, either by itself or along with other forms of treatment.

Standard chemotherapy

Chemotherapy or chemo is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. You may have just one chemotherapy drug or a combination of different chemotherapy drugs. Also, you may have chemotherapy with other types of cancer drugs.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy or hormonal therapy for cancer is the use of medicines to block the effects of hormones. Doctors use hormone therapy for people with cancers that are hormone sensitive or hormone dependent.

Targeted therapies

Targeted therapy is one type of biological therapy that uses drugs or other substances to more precisely identify and attack cancer cells, usually while doing little damage to normal cells. Targeted therapy is a growing part of many cancer treatment regimens. Most targeted therapies are either small-molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies.


Immunotherapy is another type of biological therapy that uses your body's own immune system to help fight cancer. The immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases. It is made up of white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is used to replace bone marrow that isn’t working or has been destroyed by disease, chemo, or radiation.

Inhibitors of bone resorption

Inhibitors of bone resorption are drugs that inhibit mineralization or resorption of the bone. They work by different mechanisms to decrease bone resorption and prevent calcium loss from the bones. These bone resorption inhibitors are used to treat patients who have bone cancer or to treat patients who have excess calcium in the blood due to cancer. They are also called bone strengthening or hardening treatment.