Sunday, January 7, 2024

How is cancer treated?.. Surgery. Radiation therapy. Chemotherapy. Immunotherapy. Targeted therapy. Hormone therapy. Stem cell transplant

Cancer treatment:

Cancer treatment can vary depending on the type and stage of cancer, as well as other factors such as the patient's overall health and preferences.

Cancer treatment methods:

There are several main treatment modalities used for cancer:

1. Surgery:

Surgery involves removing the tumor and nearby tissues that may contain cancer cells. It is often used for solid tumors that are localized and have not spread to other parts of the body.

2. Radiation therapy:

This treatment uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. It can be delivered externally using a machine (external beam radiation) or internally through radioactive materials placed near the tumor (brachytherapy).

3. Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy uses drugs that kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing and dividing. It can be administered orally or intravenously and may be used alone or in combination with other treatments. Chemotherapy can affect both cancer cells and normal cells, leading to side effects.

4. Immunotherapy:

Immunotherapy uses drugs to help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells. It can enhance the immune response or target specific molecules on cancer cells. Immunotherapy has shown promising results in treating various types of cancer.

5. Targeted therapy:

Targeted therapy drugs specifically target certain molecules or pathways that are involved in the growth and survival of cancer cells. These drugs can interfere with specific abnormalities in cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells.

6. Hormone therapy:

Hormone therapy is used to treat cancers that are hormone-sensitive, such as breast and prostate cancer. It works by blocking the effects of hormones or suppressing hormone production to slow down or stop cancer growth.

7. Stem cell transplant:

Stem cell transplantation involves replacing damaged bone marrow (where blood cells are produced) with healthy stem cells. This procedure is often used after high-dose chemotherapy or radiation to restore the bone marrow and blood cell production.

Treatment plans are typically developed by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other specialists, based on the specific characteristics of the cancer and the individual patient. The aim is to provide the most effective treatment while minimizing side effects and considering the patient's overall well-being.