Cancer therapy (oncology)

The diagnosis of cancer is drastic, for those affected and their relatives. At our interdisciplinary cancer center, a large number of specialist departments and special consultation hours work closely together. People suffering from cancer benefit from holistic medicine at the highest level, tailored to their individual needs.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a collective term for various diseases with one thing in common: healthy body cells change and begin to grow uncontrollably. In so-called solid tumors, lumps develop in the tissue; hence the name. Benign tumors remain in place. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, grow into the surrounding area and can form metastases in the body. In blood cancer, cells in the blood degenerate and multiply uncontrollably. A distinction is made between cancer of the hematopoietic system (leukemia) and cancer of the lymphatic system (lymphoma).

Cancer develops when the genetic material in the cell changes. There are risk factors such as genetic predisposition and age. An unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol) or external influences (e.g. UV radiation, viruses) can also trigger a tumor disease.

Find out more about the different types of cancer

All clinical pictures of cancer

Treatments and therapy options

We offer future-oriented, interdisciplinary therapy concepts to the highest medical standards. A large team of medical specialists and oncology specialists is available to you for clarification, advice and treatment.

Cancer therapies

The treatment options for cancer are classically divided into three pillars:

To the entire range of treatments offered by the CCCZ

Why to the USZ?

At the USZ, cancer patients are treated at the highest medical level. Our primary goal is to cure cancer. To this end, we have established an interdisciplinary cancer center – the Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich (CCCZ) – together with the University of Zurich, Balgrist University Hospital and the University Children’s Hospital Zurich. In the 17 specialized organ centers of the CCCZ, numerous departments have joined forces and pool their knowledge for the various types of tumors and cancers. Our experts work closely together here for the benefit of those affected. In our weekly tumor boards, they discuss the diagnoses and therapy recommendations for our patients on an interdisciplinary basis. Cancer patients benefit from many years of experience and a holistic approach to care.

At the CCCZ, doctors and scientists from over 60 clinical departments and research groups work side by side to improve the chances of survival and quality of life of cancer patients. With the help of numerous clinical studies, in many cases we can start where established procedures reach their limits and offer new and innovative treatment strategies.

Cancer not only affects the affected organ, but also has an impact on overall well-being. The psyche, the social environment and professional life are also affected. To ensure that cancer patients at the USZ feel comprehensively cared for, the focus is on holistic care. Specialists from the fields of medicine, research and psychosocial and alternative medicine work closely together. We support those affected in their everyday lives and offer assistance in a wide range of areas.

Our support services

With the CCCZ, we operate one of the leading oncology centers in Switzerland and treat over 2,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients every year. Cancer patients at the USZ benefit from the enormous experience of our experts in all different types of tumors. Thanks to this routine, even rare and serious cancers can be treated professionally.

Cancer is not a uniform disease and has completely different manifestations. Just as every person is unique, every tumor disease is individual and different. This is why cancer patients respond very differently to treatment. Innovative methods are used at the CCCZ to biotechnologically analyze tumor samples and provide information about the prognosis of cancer. Ideally, they even serve as the basis for a customized and efficient treatment that is also gentle on healthy tissue and therefore has fewer side effects.

Precision oncology at the CCCZ

What symptoms and signs indicate cancer?

As each type of cancer grows at a different rate and affects different organs, the symptoms are not always the same. For each type of cancer, you will find the symptoms that can occur in addition to the general symptoms under the respective clinical picture. If you notice changes in your well-being that occur without explanation, you should always consult a specialist.

On the clinical pictures of cancer

Living with and after a cancer diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis changes the lives of those affected in many areas. In addition to the actual symptoms of the disease, there are other challenges that can have a negative impact on quality of life and well-being. The specialists at the USZ provide comprehensive advice to those affected and are concerned about their physical and emotional health. Even after successful tumor treatment, patients come to the USZ for regular long-term follow-up checks to deal with difficulties and after-effects.

Life expectancy and chances of recovery from cancer

Basically, the earlier a cancer is detected, the better the chances of recovery. For this reason, screening tests such as those for bowel and breast cancer are recommended for early detection. In recent years, treatment options have improved enormously and many types of cancer have become curable. However, patients with tumors that are difficult to treat also benefit from new treatment approaches that are targeted and often enable a good quality of life.

Risk factors and prevention

There are various causes of cancer and each type of tumor has different triggers. Some types of cancer are genetic. Others are promoted or triggered by risky behavior such as smoking, excessive sun exposure or lack of exercise. The USZ offers support in the prevention and early detection of tumors. Regular check-ups are useful for breast cancer, cervical cancer and bowel cancer, for example. In this way, tumors are detected before they cause symptoms. If cancer treatment is started early, the chances of recovery are better.

Responsible department

Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich
University Hospital Zurich
Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 255 44 00
To the website
The Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich is certified according to the high professional standards of the German Cancer Society.