Exploring Various Options in the Treatment of Cancer
The word “cancer” might sound like a death sentence to the patients and their loved ones. But if the disease is caught before it spreads rapidly and the right treatment started on time then patients can surely eliminate the cancer-causing cells for life. Here are some of the various options that can be explored in the treatment of cancer.
Different types of cancer
There are many ways by which cancer could strike within a patient’s body. The treatment of cancer too will depend on the type of cancer, the age and physical condition of the patient and the stage at which the disease is discovered by doctors. Some types of cancers are given below
o Breast cancer
o Prostate cancer
o Stomach cancer
o Blood cancer or leukemia
o Lung cancer, etc
While each form of cancer requires a specialized approach, some of the options that are normally utilized are given below.
Most cancers such as breast cancer and stomach cancer require immediate surgery to stop the spread of cancer cells further into the body of the patient. The patient will require hospitalization during and after surgery even as other treatments including radiation and chemotherapy might be started to ensure total freedom from cancer cells. Surgery is widely used in the treatment of cancer but in some types of cancer such as brain cancer, the risks are quite high as the operation might negatively affect some functions of the patient.
With rapid advancement in drugs that can beat cancer and with side effects such as nausea being controlled to a large extent, chemotherapy is now the preferred choice in the treatment of cancer, especially if it is located in hard-to-reach areas or is advancing rapidly. Chemotherapy is usually a combination of several drugs that attack cancer cells and are either injected into the patient or delivered in pill form. Collateral damage is also caused to the patient as healthy cells are also destroyed in chemotherapy, although newer drugs cause less damage to the patient’s body.
The patient can also be subjected to internal or external radiation to destroy cancer cells hiding within his or her body. Internal radiation is delivered intravenously or in the form of pills or even surgically implanted in the form of rods on the affected organ itself. External radiation is applied in the form of rays on the affected organ while lead barriers protect other parts of the patient’s body. Radiation is usually applied in the treatment of cancer after a surgery so as to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
Other options in the treatment of cancer
Doctors will also explore other options in the treatment of cancer such as immunotherapy, which involves activating the patient’s natural immune system to stand up and fight the cancer, hormonal therapy to curb the growth of cancerous cells, bone marrow transplant to replace affected marrow with healthy ones, etc. Patients might also try herbal treatments or even acupuncture to get relief from pain although most doctors do not encourage alternative treatment of cancer as there is no conclusive evidence on their effectiveness.
The right option in the treatment of cancer can enable the doctor and patient to quickly stem the growth of cancer cells and destroy all remaining cells so as to lead a long and healthy life. Prompt detection and action along with regular follow-ups can enable the patient to remain disease-free for life.