Carcinoma Treatment

Carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the skin or in the tissues that line internal organs such as the breast, colon, kidney, liver, lung, prostate, and stomach to name a few. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 80 percent of all cancers are carcinomas1.

Since carcinomas can develop in various organs throughout the body, treatment options will largely depend on the location of the tumor, the stage of the tumor at diagnosis and the overall general health of the person affected with the cancer. Generally, treatment options may consist of one or more of the following:


The type of surgery performed to treat the carcinoma will depend on the specific location where the cancer has been diagnosed.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays to kill the cancerous cells. It can be given externally, meaning the radiation stems from a large machine, or internally, where the radiation is placed directly into the body in the area of the tumor. Radiation is usually given to try to shrink the size of the tumor and/or to help alleviate pain associated with the cancer.


Given intravenously and by pill, chemotherapy works to kill the rapidly dividing cancer cells. Since chemotherapy is not selective in killing just the cancer cells, it can cause several debilitating side effects including hair loss and nausea.

Hormone Therapy

In certain cancers male and female reproductive hormones such as estrogen and androgen fuel the growth and spread of the cancer. Hormone therapies block the activation of these particular hormones to try to stop the growth of the cancer.

Targeted Therapy

Innovative research over the past decade has yielded a better understanding of how certain genes or proteins stimulate the growth of certain cancers. Targeted therapies are designed to attack or interfere with specific genes or cells that have been shown to help with the growth of certain cancers.


This is a type of treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to attack the carcinoma cells.

Bone Marrow or Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant

This form of treatment occurs when high doses of chemotherapy or radiation are given to destroy bone marrow cells (where blood cells develop) and then are replaced with healthy stem cells, which form new blood cells, previously removed from the bone marrow or blood of the patient or a donor.


It is not unusual for certain cancers such as the breast and prostate to spread to the bone. Therapies called bisphosphonates, which are given intravenously, along with calcium and Vitamin D, are given to help prevent bone fractures by strengthening the bone affected by the spread of the carcinoma.

  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Glossary. Accessed on February 3, 2011.


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