Cancer Treatment Approaches
A positive cancer diagnosis is an overwhelming experience. However, there are different treatment options available that can cure cancer. Even where a cure for cancer is impossible, the treatments can shrink cancer and slow down its progress, prolonging your life. This post explores the most effective cancer treatment approaches in the healthcare system.
Surgery is a primary cancer treatment method where a surgeon removes the cancer cells and tumors from the body. This approach is effective for many types of cancers and works best with a solid tumor in one body area. The surgeon can conduct an open surgery by making one large cut to remove the tumor and tissues nearby. Alternatively, the doctor can perform minimally invasive surgery with minor cuts and use a laparoscope tube to remove the tumors and tissues. Thus, surgery can remove the entire tumor, part of the tumor, or ease pain by relieving pressure.
This treatment approach targets the proteins that control the growth and division of cancer cells to control the spread. Essentially, targeted therapies use small-molecule drugs to enter cancer cells or monoclonal antibodies that attach to the cells. The doctor first removes a tumor and tests for targets curable with existing drugs. Ultimately, targeted therapy works by stopping the growth of cancer cells, stopping signals that form blood vessels in tumors, and boosting the immune system.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment approach that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. In addition to stopping and slowing the growth of cancer cells, the process prevents recurrence and eases symptoms such as pain. Some of the standard methods of administering chemotherapy include oral, intravenous, injection, topical, or intrathecal. The type of chemotherapy drugs and frequency of treatment depends on the cancer type and stage or other pre-existing diseases. Notably, chemotherapy has side effects such as hair loss, nausea, and mouth sores.
Radiotherapy involves exposure to high doses of radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. The premise behind the method is that exposure to radiation damages the DNA in the cancer cells. Subsequently, the damaged cells cannot repair or divide. The process takes days or weeks for the exposure to be enough to kill cancer cells. However, the cells will continue dying weeks and months after the radiotherapy. Notably, one may have internal or external radiotherapy depending on whether the radiation source is outside or inside the body.
Immunotherapy helps your immune system fight cancer. Usually, the immune system can fight infections and diseases in the body. Thus, there are naturally occurring immune cells in and around the tumors. However, cancer can survive unchecked in the body if such immune cells cannot recognize the intruder. The immunotherapy treatment helps such immune cells act better against cancer.
Cancer treatment can cure, shrink, or stop the spread of cancer. Consult a healthcare provider to explore the benefits and risks of the different types of cancer treatments.
For more information on cancer treatment, contact a professional near you.