The treatment given for cancer is variable and dependent on a number of factors including the type, location and amount of disease and the health status of the patient. Most treatments are designed to either directly kill/remove the cancer cells or to lead to their eventual death by depriving them of signals needed for cell division. Other treatments work by stimulating the body's own defenses against the cancer cells.
The treatments may be divided into different categories based on their goal and mode of action. Often the different types of treatment are used in combination, either simultaneously or sequentially.
Source: www.cancerquest.org/cancer-treatment-types; August 2013
Depending on the type and stage of cancer, treatment attempts to eradicate or slow the cancer. These attempts may include some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and possibly hormone therapy or immunotherapy. When cancer is no longer detected, a patient is said to be in remission. Generally, patients who remain cancer-free for five or more years are considered cured. Some cancers cannot be cured, but all can be treated, and in many cases the patient will improve.
Source: www.webmd.com/cancer/understanding-cancer-treatment; August 2013