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Terms for different types or approaches to treatment:

  • First-line Therapy: Initial cancer treatment.  Second-line therapy may follow if the first line is not successful, and so on.
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy: Treatment given before the primary treatment.
  • Adjuvant Therapy: Treatment given after the primary treatment to increase the chances of a cure.
  • Multi-modality or combined and modality Therapy: Treatment using a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and/or targeted therapy.
  • Palliative Therapy: Treatment that is given to relieve symptoms, provide better quality of life, and perhaps extend life when cure is not probable.
Terms for the different types of responses to treatment:
  • Complete response, apparently cancer-free, or No Evidence of Disease (N.E.D): On the x-ray or imaging scan, the tumor appears to be completely gone as a result of treatment.
  • Partial response: The tumor has shrunk in size by at least 30%.
  • Stable Disease: The tumor did not grow or shrink much.
  • Progressive Disease: The tumor is growing in spite of the treatment you received.  When this happens, that specific therapy is usually stopped or modified in some way.  

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