What are some alternatives to chemotherapy?

Alternatives to chemotherapy for cancer may include the following treatments:

  • radiation therapy, which uses x-rays to kill the cancer cells
  • surgery, which means having an operation to cut out the tumor
  • bone marrow, or stem cell, transplant, which means getting healthy new blood cells to replace cancer cells
Intermountain Registered Dietitians
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Alternatives depend on the reason chemotherapy or biotherapy is needed. In some cases, there is no alternative. Although chemotherapy and biotherapy medications may have risks or complications, they may still be the best methods for treating your disease.

Sometimes chemotherapy and biotherapy are the only treatments used for cancer or immune system diseases. Often other treatments will be given. These treatments may include surgery or radiation. Your doctor will create a treatment plan based on:

  • The type of cancer or other disease
  • Where the cancer or disease is found in your body
  • The effect of the cancer or other disease on your body’s normal functions
  • Your general health

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.