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New resource helps cancer patients understand treatment options

25th July 2018 - Patient support Organisational news

Cancer Council’s Understanding Targeted Therapy fact sheet available online

Cancer Council has developed a new national fact sheet to help cancer patients and their families understand promising new targeted therapy drugs and if they are a suitable treatment option.

Understanding Targeted Therapy is the only standalone fact sheet of its kind that’s been created to give cancer patients and their families an overview of what targeted therapy is, and how it may be used to treat cancer.

Cancer Council NSW’s Cancer Information and Support Services Director, Annie Miller, says cancer patients need to be given all the facts when it comes to making treatment decisions.

“Treating cancer is complex and often patients can find discussing their treatment very overwhelming, especially when they’re unfamiliar with medical terminology.

“It is important to note that everyone’s cancer experience is unique and different treatment options work for different people. Our new targeted therapy fact sheet empowers patients to become familiar with this emerging treatment option, so they can prepare questions for their doctor about the best treatment option for them,” Ms Miller said.  

Targeted therapy is a type of drug treatment that attacks specific features of cancer cells, known as molecular targets, to stop the cancer growing and spreading. The development of targeted therapy drugs has led to improved survival rates for several types of cancer and some patients have seen very encouraging outcomes during targeted therapy treatment.

“Our new resource has been reviewed by a panel of health experts and people affected by cancer to ensure all information included is backed by scientific evidence and is presented in a way that’s easy to understand.  

“Patients can use the fact sheet to know more about how targeted therapy works, the different types of drugs currently available in Australia, when and how the drugs are used, and possible side-effects patients may experience.”

This new resource is available for free download online at www.cancercouncil.com.au/cancer-information/cancer-treatment/targeted-therapy/

– ENDS –

Notes to Editor:

About targeted therapy

  • Targeted therapy is a type of drug treatment that attacks specific features of cancer cells, known as molecular targets like genes or proteins, to stop the cancer growing and spreading.
  • Targeted therapy drugs are used to control cancer growth. They often cause the signs and symptoms of cancer to reduce or disappear.
  • Targeted therapy drugs have been approved for use in Australia for bowel, breast, cervical, kidney, lung, ovarian, stomach and thyroid cancers, as well as melanoma and some forms of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
  • The development of targeted therapy drugs has led to improved survival rates for several types of cancer and some people have had very encouraging outcomes.
  • Targeted therapy drugs are becoming an increasingly important part of cancer treatment and may be used:
    • after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells
    • to treat advanced cancer that hasn’t responded to other treatment, or cancer that has come back
    • as maintenance treatment for advanced cancer to try to prevent the cancer coming back.

About Cancer Council

Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer. Every day, we support families affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer. With your help, we’re getting closer to a cancer-free future every day.

 

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