What are the typical treatment types?


Some types of cancer can be treated with surgery. If surgery is part of your treatment you will be admitted to hospital. Depending on the surgery you need, this may be for day care or for a longer inpatient stay.

Before your surgery we might ask you to attend a pre‑assessment clinic so that we can make sure you are well enough for anaesthetic and surgery and advise you on how to prepare. For more information about surgery, please visit royalmarsden.nhs.uk/information.


Chemotherapy is treatment with anti‑cancer drugs, given to destroy or control cancer cells. A single drug may be given or several different drugs may be given together. The nature of the treatment will depend on the type of cancer you have and how advanced it is.

If you need chemotherapy, you will receive it either in one of the Private Patient Medical Daycare Units or you may need inpatient care. For more information about chemotherapy, please visit royalmarsden.nhs.uk/information.


Radiotherapy uses carefully measured doses of radiation to treat cancer. The type of radiotherapy most people have uses beams of high‑energy rays, usually x‑rays. The radiotherapy machine delivers specific amounts of the radiation to the area of the body that it is aimed at.

Radiotherapy is generally given as an outpatient treatment.

Your doctor will explain why radiotherapy is recommended for you and what your treatment will involve. For more information about radiotherapy, please visit royalmarsden.nhs.uk/information

Questions to ask

Before you can make a decision about treatment, it’s important that you fully understand what each treatment involves. This is particularly important because we will always ask for your consent before we treat you. During your appointment, you will have a chance to ask your consultant anything you would like to know about your treatment. It is a good idea to think about what questions you might want to ask before your appointment.