Many Treatment Options for Cancer These Days
Millions of people are diagnosed with cancer each year, and while it is a dreaded disease, it’s not the death sentence that it used to be. Cancer treatment therapy has made leaps and bounds over the past few decades, and many cancers, when caught early, have high cure rates. What cancer treatment therapy is right for you depends on your own situation, including the type of cancer and stage it is at. That being said, there are four main treatments for all cancers: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and gene therapy. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
One of the best treatments for cancer is surgery. When a surgeon can fully remove a tumor, it often means a high cure rate. Among the cancers commonly treated with surgery are skin cancers, testicular cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. The biggest benefit of surgery is the removal of the tumor, which can completely cure the cancer in many cases. Surgery also has drawbacks, however. It can lead to complications and not all cancers can be treated with surgery.
One of the most common forms of cancer treatment therapy is chemotherapy, which is the use of high doses of drugs aimed at killing the cancer. Chemotherapy is used in a wide variety of cases. It can be used as a brain cancer treatment, in breast cancer care and on lung cancers as well as dozens of other cancers. Chemotherapy has a high cure rate for many cancers and it is a tried and true treatment, which makes it a good choice. However, chemotherapy has huge drawbacks. Many types are essentially poison that kill healthy cells as well, leading to hair loss, nausea and vomiting, and impaired immune systems. Complication rates are high with chemotherapy.
Another very common form of cancer treatment therapy is radiation. Radiation treatment for cancer consists of shooting beams of highly concentrated radiation into cancer cells to kill them. Radiation is a successful treatment for many cancers, but it also causes complications because radiation often leaks beyond the tumor into surrounding tissue. A newer form of radiation called proton therapy is more targeted and reduces spillover radiation. For example, in breast cancer treatment, it means reduced chances of radiation affecting the heart and lungs. In prostate cancer treatment, it greatly reduces the risk of impotence while producing high cure rates.
A newer and less-used form of cancer treatment is gene therapy. This treatment essentially targets genes in cancer and switches them off or changes them so that they no longer fuel cancer. Gene therapies are extremely effective and can produce high cure rates even in very advanced cancers. However, gene therapies are relatively new and only work in certain types of cancer. They also can have serious side effects.
The key with cancer is to get an early diagnosis and work with a specialist to come up with the best treatment plan. Having a positive attitude and staying as healthy as possible during treatment will help you get a good outcome.