Treatments & side effects

A patient undergoes cancer treatment

Cancer treatment depends on the cancer type, where it began, and whether it's spread (plus general health and personal choices). Often more than one treatment's used.

Options include immunotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy, as well as:




Many cancers can be cured. If you have advanced cancer and a cure's unlikely, palliative care can relieve symptoms, help you feel comfortable and live longer.

Treatments by cancer type

Bile duct cancer ι Bladder cancer (invase / non-invasive) ι Bone cancer ι Bowel cancer ι Brain/spinal tumours ι Breast cancer ι Carcinoid tumour ι Cervical cancer ι Head & neck cancers ι Kidney cancer (early / advanced) ι Leukaemia ι Liver cancer ι Lung cancer ι Lymphoma ι Melanoma ι Mesothelioma ι Multiple myeloma ι Ovarian cancer ι Pancreatic cancer ι Prostate cancer ι Skin cancers (non-melanoma) ι Soft tissue sarcoma ι  Stomach & oesophageal cancers ι Testicular cancer ι Thyroid cancer ι Uterine cancer ι Unknown primary ι Vaginal cancer ι Vulva cancer

Side effects

Fatigue ι Hair loss ι Taste and smell changes | Lymphoedema ι Breast reconstruction surgery ι Overcoming cancer pain

Medicinal cannabis

In April 2016 the Victorian Government passed legislation allowing access to cannabis products for medicinal use in exceptional circumstances. Although medicinal cannabis is not currently available to those affected by cancer, it is anticipated that they will be among the next groups to be considered. The new Act makes the use of medicinal cannabis legal for patients with specific medical conditions or symptoms, and for other patients in exceptional circumstances.

Best practice

Clinical Practice Guides ι Optimal Care Pathways

Making treatment decisions

Who to consult and how to choose.

Cancer treatment centres

An extensive statewide list.

Clinical trials

Trials for newly developed treatments.

Questions for your doctor

You may find this checklist helpful when thinking about the questions you want to ask your doctor.

Updated: 10 Oct, 2016