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Cancer Treatment

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The multi-disciplinary team (MDT) will suggest the best treatment plan if cancer    is discovered. Treatment options depend on many things, like the type and stage of your cancer, your age and your general health. Most importantly, it depends on what you want.

You will be given support from your key-worker and cancer specialist to assess the benefit and risks of each cancer treatment and decide which is best for you.

Types of cancer treatment

Treatment to kill or remove cancer cells (primary treatment): primary treatment aims to remove the cancer from your body or kill the cancer cells. The most common primary cancer treatment is surgery – although any cancer treatment can be used as primary therapy.

Treatment to shrink your tumour before surgery (neo-adjuvant therapy):  the aim of neo-adjuvant therapy is to shrink down your cancer before surgery to make it easier to remove.  Any cancer treatment can be used as neo-adjuvant therapy.  Common neo-adjuvant therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.

Treatment to kill any remaining cancer cells (adjuvant therapy): the aim of adjuvant therapy is to kill any cancer cells that may remain after primary treatment. Any cancer treatment can be used as an adjuvant therapy. Common adjuvant therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.

Treatment to manage side effects of cancer and its treatment (palliative care): palliative care aims to decrease pain or other symptoms and help you maintain quality of life during and after cancer treatment. We have an excellent palliative care ​unit at the hospital.

The three main treatment options in the fight against cancer

Surgery: the aim of surgery is to remove the cancer - or as much of the cancer as possible.

Chemotherapy: this is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given orally (as a tablet to be swallowed) or injected directly into the blood. This is usually given as outpatient treatment at the Linda McCartney Centre, by specialists from the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre or within the Haematology Unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Radiotherapy: this is the use of high-powered energy beams to kill cancer cells. This treatment is given at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Other cancer treatments

Biological therapy: this uses your body's immune system to fight cancer. It helps you immune system identify cancer and attack it.

Hormone therapy: some cancers are fuelled by hormones. By removing the hormone or blocking it, the cancer cells may die.

Targeted drug therapy: these target abnormalities within cancer cells that allow them to survive.

Clinical trails: these investigate new ways of treating cancer. Often patients have a better outcome after taking part.

Bone marrow transplant: this is sometimes used to treat leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. We are the regional centre for bone marrow transplants.

We treat over 20 cancers at our hospitals: