Tests and treatment

There are many different types of tests you might have to find out if you have cancer. The type of test you need depends on the symptoms you have and the part of the body affected. You might also have tests to monitor your cancer during and after treatment.

Whatever the reason for the test or scan, it can be a scary and difficult time. Finding out more about what a test involves and what it is going to be like on the day can be helpful and hopefully reduce any fears you may have.

For more detailed information on tests and scans for cancer, visit the Cancer Research UK website.

The type of treatment you may receive will be based on a number of factors, including the nature of the cancer and your general health. The three main types of treatment for cancer are:

  • surgery: surgery involves the removal of the cancer from the affected areas of the body. The type of surgery performed depends on the site of the cancer. A doctor will discuss any surgical procedures with you and your family if surgery is the best treatment option.
  • chemotherapy: chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to damage cancer cells in the body. Unfortunately they also produce unwanted side-effects by damaging cells that are actively growing. This can lead to hair loss and mouth ulcers among other side-effects.
  • radiotherapy: radiotherapy is the use of radiation on a specific part of the body. The intention is for the radiation to destroy abnormal, cancerous cells. The abnormal cells are destroyed and any normal cells that may be damaged should grow back.

For more information on the treatments for cancer in young people, visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

Last updated November 2019.