When one is diagnosed with cancer, it is an overwhelming realization. Shock, followed by depression are normal, but then they are ready to take the reins and discover what type of treatment will be best for them. There are plenty of options in 2016, and any great cancer specialist can go over them. However, for those who are already searching and trying to decide which direction to take, here is a breakdown of the most common treatments.
Has the Cancer Doctor Recommended Surgery?
Surgery can be used to diagnose, treat and even prevent cancer depending on the many circumstances in each diagnosed case of cancer. Most who find they have a pending battle with cancer will have some type of surgery. It often gives the greatest chance for possible cure, even better if the cancer hasn’t moved to other parts of the body.
Surgery is performed for many reasons. Some surgeries are minor procedures while other are more serious. These are the most common surgeries associated with cancer:
Chemotherapy, often referred to as “chemo” is the use of drugs and medicine to treat cancer. Many are frightened by the notion of undergoing chemo, but by knowing how it works and what will happen they gain a better understanding and nerves are calmed.
Surgery and radiation therapy damage, remove and kill cancer cells in a specific area, however it is possible for chemo to work throughout the whole body. Even when the cancer has metastasized away from the original location, chemo can find it and kill it. The goals of chemotherapy are cure, control and palliation.
Targeted therapy one of the newer types of treatment for cancer patients that uses drugs or other substances to attack malicious cells in a more precise way. It does much less damage to healthy cells, and therefore is a fast-growing part of many regimens.
The drugs used for targeted therapy tend to be much like chemotherapy, only they don’t work the exact same way. They attack the cancer cells’ innermost parts that set them apart from healthy, normal cells. The side effects are less severe than chemo.
Hyperthermia uses heat to treat cancer, and is an age old method. With new tools and precise heat delivery hyperthermia can be used against several types of cancer. There are two quite different ways that hyperthermia can be used:
1. Extremely high temperatures are used to destroy a small grouping of cells, for example a tumor. This is usually referred to as thermal ablation or local hyperthermia.
2. The temperature of a particular portion of the body is raised a few degrees higher than normal. This aids other cancer treatments such as immuno therapy, radiation and chemotherapy. This is called regional hyperthermia.
Immuno therapy is a treatment known for using the body’s immune system in order to battle cancer. It stimulates the immune system to basically fight its own battle using man-made immune system proteins. Within the last 30 years or so, immunotherapy has become a vital part of treating many types of cancer. New treatments are currently being studied, and will likely change how we treat cancer.
Immuno therapy treatments work in various ways. Some boost the immune system while others train the immune system to attack only cancer cells. Immuno therapy works best for specific types of cancer over others. Based on the type it will be used by itself or with other types of treatment.
These are just a few of the most common treatments for cancer patients. There are plenty more, as well as many being discovered each day. Hopefully fewer cases of cancer will be seen, and there will be more hope for those who have been diagnosed.
Tri-City Medical Center has been providing health care to residents of San Diego with pride since 1961. They are a leader in medical excellence offering a variety of services to the community including heart care, orthopedics, surgery, women’s care, emergency services and so much more. They serve San Diego’s coastal communities including Carlsbad, Vista and Oceanside and surrounding districts. The hospital has a mission to advance the health and wellness of all they serve, and a vision to be in the top 10% of hospitals nationwide when it comes to patient care. Integrity, quality and safety are top concerns and always will be. Learn more about the hospital at http://www.tricitymed.org/