Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

How to Find the Best Cancer Treatment

Get answers to 10 commonly asked questions about clinical trials, where to get cancer treatment, and more.

My friend had the same kind of cancer I have. Should I expect the same treatment, prognosis, and side effects? continued...

Besides, cancer treatment is evolving at a rapid pace. Your friend may have had one kind of treatment for her cancer five years ago, and since then, a new drug may have emerged that improves on the old treatment regimen.

Side effects may vary, too.

"We don't know how to figure out who will have an easy time with treatment and who won't," Saltz says. "There's a particular type of chemotherapy I use regularly, with a long list of possible side effects. Some people get all of them, and some people get virtually none of them, and most are in the middle. I've had people who haven't missed a day of work, people who are incapacitated, and everywhere in between. And there's no way to anticipate who will have what experience.

Fortunately, just as cancer treatments have evolved, so have the tools for managing their side effects. For example, there are newer drugs for nausea that have helped to minimize or even eliminate this very common and much-dreaded side effect of chemotherapy.

What is my prognosis? What are my odds of survival? Am I going to die?

Your cancer prognosis depends on a lot of things: how early or late the cancer was diagnosed and how advanced it is, how common or rare it is, how difficult it is to treat, and how healthy you are otherwise.

In general, cancers are "staged" with numbers ranging from 0 to 4, and the lower the stage number, the better. If your cancer has metastasized -- that is, spread beyond the original organ where it started to other parts of your body, like the lungs, liver, or brain --the prognosis is not as good as with an early stage cancer.

A particular cancer may be hard to treat if, for example, the tumor is close to or even wrapped around a vital organ, making it difficult or impossible to remove completely without irreparably damaging the organ. And if you're otherwise very healthy, you may be able to withstand a more aggressive course of treatment that has a better chance of wiping out your cancer compared to someone who's frail and has a lot of other illnesses.

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas