Fighting Cancer: Surgery, Chemo, Radiation, and More – Treatment Options Explained

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Cancer Treatment Options

Retaliating: An Overview of Cancer Treatment Approaches

While receiving a cancer diagnosis can seem daunting, there is still hope. There are now several efficient cancer therapy options available. This blog examines the five main methods of treating cancer: targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

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Fighting Cancer: Surgery, Chemo, Radiation, and More - Treatment Options Explained 6
  1. Surgery: Cancer Excision
    With the goal of removing any malignant tissue or the entire tumour with visible margins (healthy tissue encircling the tumour), surgery is still the mainstay of cancer treatment. Some examples of surgical operations are as follows:Cancer Treatment Options
  • Surgery: performed with the intention of curing a patient’s cancer by removing the entire tumour.
  • Debulking surgery: This procedure removes the tumour as much as possible and is frequently used to enhance the results of other therapies, such as radiation therapy.
  • Palliative surgery: Even though it is not curative, its goal is to improve function or relieve symptoms like pain.

Decisions about surgery are based on:

Cancer Treatment Options

  • Type and stage of cancer: Cancer’s location, size, and extent of spread.
  • Overall health of the patient: age, degree of fitness, and existence of additional medical issues.
  1. Chemotherapy: Using Strong Drugs to Target Cancer Cells
    Strong medications are used in chemotherapy to either kill or stop the division of cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given in several ways:
  • Intravenously (IV): An injection of medication is given right into a vein.
  • Orally: As a tablet taken by mouth.
  • Topically: For some types of skin cancer, applied straight to the skin.

In chemotherapy, one can:

Cancer Treatment Options

  • Adjuvant: Applied following surgery to lower the chance of recurrence.
  • Neoadjuvant: Given prior to surgery with the goal of reducing the tumor’s size and maybe enhancing surgical results.
  • Palliative: care aims to manage symptoms and slow the spread of cancer.

Chemotherapy side effects include exhaustion, hair loss, nausea, and vomiting. These are typically transient and controllable with the right kind of assistance.

  1. Utilising Radiation Therapy to Fight Cancer
    High-energy radiation beams are used in radiation therapy to destroy and harm cancer cells. Two primary methods of delivery are available:
  • Radiation beams: from outside the body are directed towards the desired area by a machine during external beam radiation therapy.
  • Brachytherapy: often known as internal radiation therapy, involves the placement of radioactive material near the tumour within the body.

One option for radiation therapy is:

Cancer Treatment Options

  • Curatively: To destroy cancer cells in order to treat them.
  • Adjuvant or neoadjuvant: In addition to surgery in order to enhance results.
  • Palliatively: To alleviate discomfort or haemorrhage.

Radiation therapy side effects can include nausea, exhaustion, and skin irritation. These rely on the dosage, the area being treated, and the individual components.

  1. Immunotherapy: Boosting Your Defence Mechanisms
    Immunotherapy improves your immune system’s ability to identify and combat cancer cells. Some examples of immunotherapy are as follows:
  • Checkpoint inhibitors: These medications allow the immune system to assault cancer cells by removing the “brakes” on it.
  • CAR T-cell therapy: With this individualised treatment, a patient’s T cells are trained to identify and combat particular cancer cells.
  • Monoclonal antibodies: These produced in a lab, proteins bind to particular chemicals on cancer cells to aid in their removal by the immune system.

Cancer Treatment Options
Both on its own and in conjunction with other therapies, immunotherapy is an option. Depending on the particular immunotherapy type, side effects can vary, but they can include rash, exhaustion, and flu-like symptoms.

  1. Targeted Therapy: Delivering a Singular Hit
    Drugs used in targeted therapy take advantage of particular anomalies seen in cancer cells. These medications focus on these anomalies to prevent the growth or spread of cancer cells. Comparing targeted therapy to chemotherapy, side effects are frequently less severe.

The following are a few instances of focused therapies:

  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs): Inhibit proteins required for the proliferation and viability of cancer cells.
  • Hormone therapy: Prevents the hormones that cause some malignancies, such as prostate or breast cancer, from growing.

Cancer Treatment Options
Medications used in targeted therapy are usually given orally.

Selecting the Appropriate Course of Action:

Cancer Treatment Options

The best course of treatment is individualised and dependent on a number of variables, such as:

  • The kind and stage of cancer
  • Patient’s age, general health, possible adverse effects, and personal preferences
  • Your physician will talk to you about the best course of action, taking into account your unique circumstances and creating a customised treatment plan.

Recall that cancer treatment is a dynamic field. Patients now have more hope thanks to the development of novel and creative medicines. You and your doctor can navigate your treatment journey together if you are aware of the various therapy modalities.

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