How is Cancer Treated

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Image result for Cancer TreatedCancer is treated in different ways. As yet, there is no single treatment for curing cancer. A combination of therapies and palliative care is given to the cancer patients. Often two or more types of treatment are combined for this purpose.
Treatments are categorized as follows:
• Conventional treatments
• Complementary therapies
• Alternative therapies
Which treatment option should be chosen – it depends upon the following factors:
• Type of cancer
• Stage of the cancer – how much it has spread
• Age
• Health status
• Personal preferences
In considering your treatment options, don’t be afraid to ask questions to your doctor(s) as you are a key part of your cancer care team. Talk to them about it and make sure you understand your options, then decide which treatment choices are best for you. If possible, seeking a second opinion is often a good idea. Often being diagnosed with cancer makes people think that they have to take decisions hurriedly about the treatments and services. But take time to look at all the available options. It will give you more information about the treatment options and you will be more confident about the one you chose.
Conventional Therapies
Conventional treatments – also known as medical, proven, orthodox, standard or mainstream treatments – are widely accepted and are being practiced by several oncologists and medical specialists. These treatments have been clinically tested, first in laboratories and then on large groups of people. They aim to cure the disease by removing the cancer cells from the body. Their effectiveness is based on scientific evidences proving that these treatments are safe, and either cure the cancer or slows down its growth or control the symptoms. Sometimes a treatment might not be able to cure cancer, but still it will help in relieving the symptoms and slowing down the spread of cancer or might completely stop it from spreading.
The main types of conventional treatments are:
• Surgery
• Radiotherapy
• Chemotherapy
• Immunotherapy
• Hormone therapy
• Gene therapy
1. Surgery
One of the oldest known treatments for cancer is surgery. If a cancer has not yet spread to other parts of the body (i.e., metastasized), then it is quite possible to surgically removing the cancer from the body and completely curing a patient. But if the disease has spread out then it is nearly impossible to remove all of the cancer cells.
2. Radiotherapy
Destruction of cancer by focusing high-energy rays on the cancer cells is known as radiation treatment or radiotherapy. This causes damage to the molecules that make up the cancer cells and leads them to commit suicide. This process utilizes high-energy gamma-rays that are emitted from metals such as radium or high-energy x-rays that are created in a special machine. Radiotherapy is used as a standalone treatment to shrink a tumor or destroy cancer cells. It is also used in combination with other cancer treatments.
Earlier, the energy beams utilized in radiation treatments to destroy the cancerous cell also tended to damage the normal, healthy tissues thus causing severe side-effects. But nowadays, due to improved technologies, the beams are more accurately targeted.
3. Chemotherapy
In the Chemotherapy, different chemicals are utilized that interfere with the cell division process – damaging proteins or DNA – so that the cancer cells commit suicide. These treatments do not target only the cancer cells but any rapidly dividing cells. But as normal cells have the ability to recover from any chemically-induced damages so they recover while cancer cells do not have this ability so they cannot recover.
Generally, chemotherapy is used to treat those cancers that have spread out to other parts of the body (metastasized). This treatment is given in cycles so as to give time to the body for healing between doses.
4. Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy basically aims to get the body’s immune system to fight the tumor. Immunotherapy can be non-specific or targeted/ specific. If it stimulates the entire immune system thus improving the cancer-fighting abilities, then it is non specific. If it specifically instructs the immune system to destroy cancer cells, then it is considered to be targeted.
This therapy is relatively at a beginning stage, but it has had success with treatments that introduced antibodies to the body which inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells.
Bone marrow transplantation might be considered as an immunotherapy because the donor’s immune cells often attack the tumor or cancer cells that are present in the host.
5. Hormone therapy
Several cancers have been linked to some types of hormones, most notably breast and prostate cancer. Hormone therapy is designed to alter hormone production in the body so that cancer cells stop growing or are killed completely.
Breast cancer hormone therapies often focus on reducing the estrogen levels and prostate cancer hormone therapies often focus on reducing the testosterone levels.
6. Gene therapy
Gene therapy is still in the initial stages.
It involves introducing genetic material (DNA or RNA) into a person’s cells to fight disease. Gene therapy is being studied in clinical trials (research studies with people) and is not currently available outside a clinical trial.
Complementary Therapies
Complementary therapies are also called holistic, natural, and traditional therapies. These therapies are usually safe, but the practitioner should have an understanding of the needs of people with cancer.
Complementary therapies help by:
• Helping people cope better with symptoms of cancer and side effects caused by the conventional treatments
• Improving the well-being through the different stages of treatment and recovery
• Providing comfort and relief for people having palliative care
Examples of complementary therapies are:
• Acupuncture
• Massage
• Meditation
• Herbal medicine
Alternative Therapies
Alternative therapies are defined as those used in place of conventional treatments. They might cause harm if the cancer patient delays or stops using the conventional treatments and instead uses these therapies. These alternative therapies have not been scientifically proven to be workable solutions for cancer treatment. Moreover, their side effects are not known as well.
Alternative therapies usually:
• claim to stop cancer growth or completely cure cancer
• are expensive
• promote extreme dietary and lifestyle protocols
Examples of alternative therapies are:
• Microwave therapy
• Ozone therapy
• Magnet therapy
• Coffee enemas
• High-dose supplements, vitamins, melatonin etc.

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My name is Sambit.I am 26 and tech loving and creative minded guy.Last 3 years doing blogs and i love my profession as a full time blogger.

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