There are different treatment options to cure cancer. These are standard treatments that may be used singly or in combination. The type of treatment, which the cancer specialist will opt on, will be decided after he has examined in-depth, the patient and the test report of the cancer investigations.
How is the type of cancer treatment determined?
From the various treatment options for cancer, the doctor has to choose one or a combination of two or three for the patient. What in general, will the cancer specialist look for before deciding on the course of the cancer treatment? He will look at:
- The general condition of the patient, which will include age, any other accompanying health disease, and general debility
- The location of the malignant tumor
- The type of cancer
- The stage of cancer
- Whether there is metastasis. (spread of cancer)
Before beginning the treatment, the doctor will also educate the patient on why he has opted for a particular type of treatment and he will also explain the possible side effects, which the patient may experience.
Types of cancer treatments
More often than not, cancer treatment consists of a combination of cancer therapies. Most cancer patients are treated with a combination of treatments, which usually is surgery combined with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
The following are the standard cancer treatments used. Each is discussed in detail in subsequent separate posts, which are linked to.
Surgery for cancer.
Cancer surgery may be performed on the tumor either for diagnosis as in excision biopsy, or it is performed as part of the cancer cure.
Surgical treatment for cancer usually involves surgical removal of the whole organ. Examples include:
- Removal of the whole lung in lung cancer
- Mastectomy (removal of the breast) in breast cancer
- Prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) in cancer of the prostate
Know when surgery is indicated, about the different types of surgeries used to cure cancer, the different techniques used, and the possible complications that can arise.
Radiation for Cancer
Radiation therapy is a type of treatment for cancer, which involves the use of beams of high-energy ionizing radiation rays to target and destroy the cancer cells and stop their uncontrolled growth. X-rays, Gamma rays, and Charged particles are used for radiation in treating cancer.
Know when it is indicated, types of radiotherapies, how it works to treat cancer, and its possible side effects.
Chemotherapy for Cancer
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with chemicals (drugs). It involves treating cancer with drugs to kill cancer cells. It is an aggressive therapy that destroys the rapidly-growing cancer cells in the body.
Know how it works, what it does, the different types of chemotherapy drugs used, how they are chosen in a particular case, how they are administered and the possible side effects of this therapy.
Hormone therapy for cancer
Hormone therapy involves using hormones to treat certain cancers such as breast cancer, cancer of prostrate and uterine or endometrial cancer. These cancers are hormone-dependent, meaning they need hormones to grow. Therefore, if the hormone is prevented from reaching the cancer cells, their growth and spread can be stopped. This is the principle on which hormone therapy works in the treatment of cancer.
This post on hormone therapy tells you how effective this therapy is in treating cancer, how it works, the advantages and side effects.
Immunotherapy for cancer
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that stimulates the immune system of the body to fight cancer.
It makes use of substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve how your immune system works to find and destroy cancer cells.
Read the linked post to know
- The types of immunotherapy
- How it works
- Who qualifies for it
- Types of cancers it treats
- How effective it is
- Approved immunotherapy drugs
- Its side effects
Gene Therapy for Cancer
When the gene undergoes a change, it commands the cell to also change. When a cancer gene will tell a cell to grow and divide at an uncontrolled rate, that cell is now a cancer cell.
Gene therapy for cancer, also called targeted therapy, still in its clinical trial stage, is used to treat a variety of diseases like cancer, AIDS, heart diseases, diabetes, hemophilia, and cystic fibrosis. To cure cancer, it is necessary to alter the gene that has “gone bad”. Gene therapy does just that.
Know what purpose it serves, how it is carried out to treat cancer, and the possible side effects.
Choosing the most appropriate treatment(s) for his cancer patient is an important decision for the oncologist. Besides looking at cancer treatment, looking for and treating the side effects with palliative treatment is an important part of cancer management.