Health A-Z

Cancer Treatment: What Options are Available?


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Cancer is arguably among the deadliest diseases in the world, claiming the lives of millions of patients. Nonetheless, technology and research have played an integral role in finding the treatment for the different types of cancer, which has improved the overall survival rate. Specialists can now control the spread of the cancerous cells, and the glowing faces and smiles on the cancer survivors are evident enough of what winning a war looks like.

The Truth About Cancer Treatments

There are different cancer treatments that doctors prescribe to their patients. The timely counter of treatments and the treatment chosen often make a big difference in the survival journey of a patient. It has to be done correctly, and before settling on a form of treatment, a series of tests are carried out to determine the spread, stage, body immunity state, and situation you're dealing with. This statistic is very critical throughout your treatment procedures.

Many procedures and medications are used to treat cancer; some are still under study and testing. This has provided patients with hope as the initial fear of lack of a solution is no longer one to worry about. These treatments are classified into two major groups. Surgery and radiation therapy are local treatments to treat particular tumors or body parts. Other treatment methods include immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapies, which are systemic treatments as they might affect your entire body.

The main goal of cancer treatments is to find a cure for a type of cancer, which allows a patient to lead a normal life. This approach might or might not work, depending on the type of cancer and the patient's situation. If finding a cure isn't an alternative, different treatment methods will be deployed to help shrink your cancer or slow down the growth of the cancerous cells. This grants a patient a life free from cancer symptoms for as long as possible.

Cancer treatments can be used for three main purposes;

·       Primary treatments – This approach aims to completely eradicate cancer and kill all cancer cells from your body.

·       Adjuvant treatments - Aim to kill any remaining cancer cells after the primary treatment to prevent recurring cancer cases.

·       Palliative treatment – The purpose of this procedure is to help relieve the side effects of the cancer treatments or symptoms of related cancer.

Types of Cancer Treatments

There are several types of cancer treatments. Your treatment option will depend on various factors, including the type of cancer, the stage it is at, your general health, and your treatment preference. You will have to discuss with your doctor the possible risk factors and benefits of the treatment of your choice to determine the best solution for your case.

 


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The various cancer treatments include;

Surgery

This is a standard cancer treatment method for many types of cancers. During the surgical procedure, the best oncologist near me will remove the tumor (mass of cancerous cells) and the nearby tissues. In other cases, surgery is performed to relieve the side effects of a tumor.

Chemotherapy

This is a drug treatment used to eliminate cancer cells. These drugs can either be administered orally or injected into a blood vessel. The procedure might involve different types of drugs, either administered one after the other or all at once.

Radiation Therapy

This treatment used particles, radioactive seeds, or x-rays to kill cancer cells. Cancer cells are known to grow and multiply faster than typical body cells, which calls for accurate measures to eliminate them. Radiation is the most harmful approach to eradicating growing cells, and the process kills cancer cells more than the number of normal cells in the body. Rapid cell death prevents cancer cells from growing and multiplying.

There are two types of radiation treatments for cancer;

·       Internal beam – As the name implies, this treatment delivers radiation into your body. It might be through radioactive seeds placed close to your tumor, a pill or liquid to swallow, or an injection in your vein.

·       External beam – This is more common and targets particles or x-rays at the cancer tumor from outside your body.

Targeted Therapy

The approach involves administering drugs to stop the spread and growth of cancer cells. It has less effect on normal cells compared to radiation therapy. The idea is to zero in on mainly targeted molecules in cancer tumors. These targets are the basis for the survival and growth of cancer cells. The cancer cells cannot spread or multiply by aiming at these targets.

Targeted therapy is administered in pills or IV. The different ways that targeted therapy works;

·       Directly killing cancer cells

·       Turning off the growth process of cancer cells

·       Triggering cancer cells causes them to die on their own.

Hormonal Therapy

Some cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer, are propelled by the body's hormones. Blocking the effects of the hormones or removing them from the body might stagnate the growth of cancer cells.

Immunotherapy

Also referred to as biological therapy, this approach uses the body's immunity to fight cancer. Cancer can survive in the body undetected because the immune system doesn't recognize it as an alien element. Immunotherapy equips your body with the ability to detect and fight cancer cells.

Laser Therapy

This treatment uses a narrow and focused beam of light to eliminate cancer cells. The method destroys precancerous growths and tumors, shrinks tumors blocking the colon, esophagus, or stomach, and treats cancer symptoms like bleeding. Other approaches include sealing nerve endings and lymph vessels after surgery to eliminate pain and reduce swelling.

Hyperthermia

This treatment utilizes heat to kill and damage cancer cells without affecting normal cells. It is ideal for small affected regions, parts of the body, or the entire body. The heat is sourced from a machine that directs it to a probe or needle placed in the tumor.


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Cryotherapy or Cryoablation

The treatment used freezing gas to freeze cancer cells and kill them. Sometimes it's used to destroy precancerous cells.

Photodynamic Therapy

The treatment involved giving patients a shot of a drug-sensitive to a particular type of light. The drug will ideally stay longer in cancer cells than in normal cells. A doctor would then direct the stated light at the cancer cells to transform the medications into a killing agent for the cells.

 

Cancer treatments now allow patients to fight the disease and lead an everyday life effectively. They are effective and give hope to whom it was once robbed by presenting a redeemable opportunity to beat cancer. You can always contact the best oncologist near me to have your consultation and begin your cancer treatment.

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