How to Stop Cancer Ebook

Understanding Your Cancer Treatment Options

Cancer is a scary diagnosis, but your treatment options do not have to be. There are several standard cancer treatments that, when used together, help patients receive the maximum benefit or their treatment. We have outlined the most widely used cancer care options and how they can help the patient heal.

Surgery is one of the most common cancer treatments. It is used in various stages of cancer care – in the beginning surgery can help with diagnosing, while it is used later as a comfort measure. Surgery is a targeted treatment option, meaning it only treats cancer where it is performed.

Radiation is another widely used cancer treatment. It can be delivered to the patient either externally or internally. External treatment, or linear accelerator, uses a beam of radiation generated by a machine to target a specific part of the body. Internal, or brachy, treatment uses an implanted radiation source that is put into the body. This source emits radioactivity within the patient to treat cancer cells. Internal cancer treatment can be temporary or permanent. If it is temporary, all radioactivity leaves the patient’s body when the implant is removed.

Doctors choose chemotherapy for more generalized cancer care. This process involves using anti-cancer drugs throughout the entire body, meaning even areas which are unaffected by cancer will experience the impact of chemotherapy. The process is often utilized to stop metastasis, or the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. Biological response modifiers offer another whole body cancer treatment. In this case, the medication is developed from substances normally found in the human body which boosts natural defenses.

Patients with prostate cancer can choose to participate in radioactive seed prostate implants or brachytherapy. This minimally invasive treatment includes implanting radioactive seeds with high doses of X-ray directly into the prostate. Patients with early stages of prostate cancer which has not metastasized are the best candidates for this cancer treatment.

For patients with advanced cancer, cancer hospitals may suggest monoclonal antibodies. The antibodies are made in labs and are designed to target antigens. These monoclonal antibodies are being attached to chemotherapy drugs and radiation to see if the substances can seek out antigens that are unique to cancer. This process may make whole body treatment options better for the patient, as the chemotherapy and radiation would be able to target cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.

Peripheral stem cell cancer treatment is similar to bone marrow, but there is no need for a donor or surgery. Patients opting for this treatment receive medication which stimulates the production and circulation of stem cells. Doctors collect the stem cells in an outpatient procedure and preserve them while the patient is given chemotherapy. If the cells are not harvested before chemotherapy, the treatment will kill them. Doctors will reinfuse the healthy stem cells once the chemotherapy has ended. This treatment is only recommended for patients with high risk or incurable cancer.

Another option for patients with advanced stages of cancer is clinical trials. These studies are conducted with cancer patients to evaluate new treatments. Each trial is designed to answer scientific questions or find a new and better way to help patients cope with advanced cancer treatments.

By working with oncology departments in your local cancer hospital, you will be able to find the best treatment for you. Do not be afraid to ask questions or work with your doctors to discover what works and what does not. Become an active participant in your treatment and you will likely find the best way to make the healing process more comfortable and effective.
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