Cancer Treatment

Cancer Treatment Options: What Choice Do You Have?

As modern medicine unravels and understands the intricacies of cancer, treatment for this dreaded disease continues to evolve.

When people hear the word “cancer,” the first thing that comes to mind is “chemotherapy.” While “chemo” has become widely associated with cancer, it is not the only course of treatment. Nowadays, a diagnosis of cancer doesn’t equate to chemotherapy – along with its host of awful side effects like hair loss, loss of weight, nausea and vomiting. In fact, in most cases, chemo is among the last recourses. Other treatment options with milder side effects are preferred by many medical specialists.

New findings, breakthroughs, and technologies have changed the cancer treatment course at a rapid pace. Patients and their loved ones now have numerous options in managing and treating this disease. Deciding which treatment combination is best in your case is vital.

However, given the number of options at hand, making the right decision can be overwhelming. Hence, it is crucial to consult a medical specialist or an oncologist who treat cancer in their different stages. With new advances in medical care and treatment options, oncologists are now able to tailor cancer treatments depending on the type and stage of cancer, and individual patient’s medical condition and needs. According to a specialist at a Euromed, cancer treatment center in Arizona, a combination of treatment modalities is often recommended for a holistic cancer care.

Let’s check out some of the common cancer treatment options.

1.                  Surgery

Except for cancers affecting the blood, most cancerous cells or tumors can be removed through surgery. A cancer surgeon can remove affected parts or certain portions of the tumor. For example, minimally invasive surgery may be recommended for early stage cancer cell removal such as in lung cancer tumors. In some cases, surgery is the only procedure possible. However, in advanced stages where cancer cells have already metastasized, surgery might not be an option.

2.                  Immunotherapy

A relatively new approach to cancer treatment, immunotherapy works by boosting the individual’s immune system which enables it to fight cancer cells. It works for different cancer types and is effective even with late-stage cancer. Although medical researchers are still exploring the potentials of immunotherapy, several FDA-approved medications are now commonly used as frontline cancer treatment. Compared to conventional chemotherapy, immunotherapy has minimal side effects. Combination immunotherapies have redefined cancer treatment and has given hope to patients.

3.                  Stem Cell Transplantation

Blood and bone marrow stem cell transplantation is used to replenish depleted or unhealthy bone marrow of cancer patients. This specialized therapy is often recommended for cancers affecting the blood. Thousands of lifesaving transplants are performed every year by experienced transplantation services in the US.

4.                  Hormone Therapy

Some cancer types are caused by either overactive or underactive hormone production. The use of supplemental hormones can help stop the spread or growth of cancer cells or tumors. The hormonal therapy prescribed to individuals depends on a number of factors including the health status, age, presence of hormone receptors on the cancer cells, tumor type and size, and other factors.

5.                  Precision Medicine

Precision medicine or targeted therapy uses medications that are tailored to individual patient and cancer. A blood or tumor sample is collected for genetic profiling. This enables clinicians to determine the most appropriate medication, as well as the ineffective ones, that specifically targets the cancer-causing genes. Targeted therapy can be taken orally or administered intravenously. They are intended to either stop the cancer growth or destroy the tumor altogether. Precision medicine can be used at any stage of cancer.

6.                  Chemotherapy

Probably the most popular breast cancer treatment option, chemotherapy uses anticancer medications to kill or shrink cancer cells and tumors as well as control or stop its spread to other parts of the body. The type and duration of chemotherapy depends on the cancer type and stage. Although chemotherapy is widely used, it is associated with awful side effects such as nausea, vomiting, loss of hair, loss of appetite, weight loss, and much more.

7.                  Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to destroy or shrink tumors and cancer cells. It can also prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. Usually, it is used in combination with other cancer treatments. There is also interventional radiology which involves minimally invasive techniques that deliver radioactive chemicals directly to the cancer cells or tumor. This offers an alternative to surgery.

8.                  Active Surveillance

This approach is recommended if cancer is detected at an early stage or for individuals at high risk for cancer. It is used for certain types of cancers that progress slowly. For example, in prostate cancer, the doctor will continuously monitor the patient’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) alongside symptoms checking. In case cancer shows rapid growth, additional treatments may be prescribed.

These are just some of the most common cancer treatment options available to patients. When seeking cancer therapy and treatment, choosing the right doctor and treatment provider is vital. Choose a hospital or cancer treatment center that offers the most exhaustive and latest treatment approaches.

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