Ways & How

ways to treat cancer

ways to treat cancer

The American Cancer Society stated that as of 2007, over 7.6 million people worldwide suffered and died from cancer. Although there are several ways to treat cancer, the type of treatment to be used should depend on the type of cancer contracted, how extensive the cancer cells have spread, age and the general health condition of the person. After having diagnosed the cancer, the doctor will provide treatment options. These options are mere recommendations, since it is still the patient who will ultimately decide which treatment to take. This is because most of the conventional cancer treatment procedures are fairly expensive. In order to be able to make a sound decision, it might help to read about the following tips.

  1. Radiation Therapy. The process involves the use of a beam rays that kill the malignant tumors. The therapy can take some time since several treatments may be undertaken every week. Since cancer cells can redevelop anytime, the patient will have to undergo the therapy over and over again. Most males suffering from prostate cancer become impotent as an after-effect of the treatment.

    Through the energy used in radiation, the DNA of the cancer cells is destroyed. Radiation can kill good cells also. But, these cells are inherently resilient and are able to regenerate themselves very quickly. Radiation may be administered to cancer patients simultaneously with chemotherapy and surgery.

  2. Chemotherapy. This process uses anti-neoplastic drugs and other treatment regimens in order to eradicate cancer cells. Essentially, the treatment affects the whole body, not just the area invaded by cancer cells. The drugs administered kill not only the bad cells, but the healthy ones as well. Typically, chemotherapy is administered intravenously (IV) or by pill. The use of this therapy can bring about side effects like a low blood cell level, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, infertility and sores on the lips and mouth.

  3. Surgery. This is used to diagnose, prevent and treat cancer. The operation will take away as much of the malignant tumor without affecting the nearby tissues. The extent of the procedure will depend on the size, malignancy and location of the tumor. It is often conducted in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy. For patients experiencing terminal cancer, palliative surgery can be performed not to cure the illness, but just to lessen the pain and the degree of discomfort.

  4. Targeted or Biologic Therapy. The characteristics of the malignant tumor are targeted in order to block the biological growth of cancer cells. Sometimes, the tumor’s blood supply is cut off so that the cancer cells will starve and eventually die due to lack of blood. This therapy, like other cancer treatment procedures, does cause side effects like swelling, muscle cramps, weight gain, bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.

  5. Stem Cell Transplant. Since radiation therapy and chemotherapy are likely to eliminate good blood cells, going through stem cell transplant is recommended in order to allow the body to develop new cells. The stem cells to be transplanted may come from the patient or from a donor. Upon transplant, the patient has to stay in the hospital for a number of days. The patient should be closely monitored because he or she can get sick anytime.

  6. Watchful waiting. This means that no treatment is given to the patient because there are no symptoms of cancer cells. The occurrence or recurrence of cancer is monitored by the doctor through regular check-ups. This option is advantageous because the patient will not experience any side effects in the meantime. The disadvantage is that at the moment cancer is finally detected, the tumor may have already progressed to the other parts of the body.

After undergoing one or a combination of the enumerated treatments, religiously take the prescribed medicines. Drugs may be given by the doctor before, during and after the treatment. Possible other drugs that the patient will have to maintain include: antiemetic drugs to regulate nausea due to chemotherapy, steroids in order to regulate swelling after undergoing surgery or any drugs that regulate seizures. There are still many other ways to treat cancer available on the Internet and in books about the disease.


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