Risk Factors for Cancer

It is usually not possible to know exactly why one person develops cancer and another doesn’t. But research has shown that certain risk factors may increase a person’s chances of developing cancer. (There are also factors that are linked to a lower risk of cancer. These are sometimes called protective risk factors, or just protective…

Types of Cancer Treatment

There are many types of cancer treatment. The types of treatment that you receive will depend on the type of cancer you have and how advanced it is. 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. When you…

Cancer Treatment Scams

If you or someone you love has cancer, chances are you’re sorting through mountains of information and facing many decisions about various treatment options. And you may be curious about supposed miraculous cancer-fighting products — pills, powders, herbs, and more — that you’ve either seen advertised or heard about from family and friends. Be skeptical:…

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard medical care.  Standard medical care is medicine that is practiced by health professionals who hold an M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degree. It is also practiced by other health professionals, such as physical therapists,…

Off-Label Drug Use in Cancer Treatment

About Off-Label Drugs Drugs can be legally sold in the U.S. only after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (also known as the FDA) has approved them. Drugs are approved after research shows they are safe and effective for a specific use. Off-label drug use refers to the practice of prescribing a drug for a…

A to Z List of Cancer Drugs

Use the A to Z list below to find consumer-friendly information about drugs for cancer and conditions related to cancer. The list is in alphabetical order by generic name and brand name. You can also find this information on our pages organized by cancer type and cancer-related condition: Drugs Approved for Different Types of Cancer…

The Genetics of Cancer

Genetic Changes and Cancer Cancer is a genetic disease—that is, cancer is caused by certain changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide. Genes carry the instructions to make proteins, which do much of the work in our cells. Certain gene changes can cause cells to evade normal growth controls…

Age and Cancer Risk

Advancing age is the most important risk factor for cancer overall, and for many individual cancer types. According to the most recent statistical data from NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program, the median age of a cancer diagnosis is 66 years. This means that half of cancer cases occur in people below this age and…

Managing Costs and Medical Information

People with cancer and their families may face major financial challenges. Cancer treatment can be very expensive, even when you have insurance. And keeping track of tests and treatments, paperwork, bills, and other records can seem overwhelming. For information about the risk of having financial problems during cancer treatment, see the PDQ summary, Financial Toxicity (Financial…

Finding Health Care Services

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, finding a doctor and a treatment facility for your cancer care is an important step to getting the best treatment possible. You will have many things to consider when choosing a doctor. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with the specialist that you choose because you will…