What are some different types of cancer treatment?
What are some types of Cancer Treatment?
Being treated for cancer can be scary and knowing what to expect and some possible options can definitely help ease the anxiety. Going through cancer treatments, no matter what type, is no easy.
The most common forms of cancer treatment are surgery (my preferred option), chemotherapy (eck) and radiation (eck).
The first and most preferred type of cancer treatment is surgery. This is a great surgery if you catch the cancer before it metasticized (sp?) and has figured out how to travel around in your body. Sometimes the surgeon may only have to take out a portion of a tumor or it may be the whole tumor.
There might be a use for radiation and chemotherapy prior to radiations as a means to control the size of the tumor prior to the surgical removal of it.
Personally, I hate the idea of chemo or radiation because they are like a double edge sword. Neither process can differentiate between healthy cells and cancerous cells and therefore kills both types of cells. As medicine advance they are getting better at targeting just the area where cancer may be, however, chemo is in all of your body and I personally have my doubts about it.
Doctors use chemotherapy as a means to destroy and kill all types of cancer cells. Chemotherapy involves using drugs to attack the cancerous cells. Chemo drugs are generally given in a vein by IV and/or sometimes taken by mouth. The drugs intrude throughout the body, basically make your blood poisonous and reaches all cells. The abnormal cancerous cells are then “treated” by this blood which in turn hopefully kills the cancerous cells. The other hope is that your healthy cells survive and regenerate so you can gain back your health as your body continues to fight of the cancerous invaders.
Radiation Therapy is exactly what it sounds like….X RAY therapy. Now I know you’ve heard that radiation causes a higher risk of cancer. It seems a bit ironic that you use it to kill cancer too huh?
I wonder what the stats are on the incidences of cancer after a radiation therapy….but if you are alive and radiation is what go you there, I’m sure there is no room for complaints, but it makes me wonder if there is a better way.
Radiation can come from the outer part of the body or radioactive material might be put inside your body (in the tumor) to fight off the cancer cells.
External radiation is more like getting and x-ray, however, it causes tissue damage and that may result in discomfort, pain and more.
Surgery, Chemo and Radiation are not the only types of cancer treatments out there.
Here is a list of other cancer treatments available today:
- Targeted Therapy -Targets cancer specifically and tries to lesson impact on healthy cells
- Transplant (bone marrow transplant) – replaces bad cells and replenishes with healthy that will hopefully take over
- Immunotherapy -Used by boosting patients own immune system (steroids and such)
- Hormone Therapy – Sometimes use to treat sex linked cancers like breast or prostate cancer.
There is no one right was to treat cancer right now. No matter what type of cancer it is, no two people will react and respond to the same therapy in the same way. Different biochemistry dictate different reactions.
Side Effect of Cancer Treatments
Depending on the type of treatment, the side effects of cancer treatment will vary.
Side effects are also impacted by the type of cancer and the cancer stage that is actually being treated, along with the patient age and any other preexisting medical conditions that affect how the person responds to the new stresses being put on their body during treatment.
It is not easy to predict the side effects for any one patient. Where one patient may have a horrible reaction to a treatment, others may have little to no reactions.
Each treatment and each patient vary and therefore, no one set of side effects can be listed as a result that is specific to your loved one as they may occur or they may not.
Chemotherapy side effects may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss
- Mouth Sores
- Low Blood Cells
- Higher risk of infections
- Bleeding and Bruising easily after injuries
It has been noted that most side effects caused by chemotherapy do go away after the treatment has ended (like hair loss) and dealing with the symptoms on an individual basis is best.
Radiations Therapy Side Effects may include:
- Skin Irritation
- Fatigue (especially if it’s a frequent treatment)
It seems that the fatigue is the greater side effect reported with radiation therapy. More rest does not fix the fatigue caused by the radiation however it should subside after treatments are completed.
If Cancer treatments cause so many problems are they worth it?
The short answer is….It beats death right?
Cancer Treatment has proven to prolong life and going through the course of treatments is an essential part of the proven process.
People who are diagnosed with cancer may not have had any symptoms prior to treatment and when they feel so ill due to chemo or radiation treatments, it may seem like the treatments are not worth it.
Cancer Treatments can be life saving and without treating cancer, the symptoms that may not have existed prior to being found will eventually take over and end up being more painful and scary than the treatments to get rid of the cancer when it is caught at and earlier stage.
As technology advances, cancer treatment gets better and better.
As a cancer patient, you have a choice. You can let cancer kill you or you can die fighting it and have the possibility of a prolonged life or a completely recovered life.
One thing is for sure, if you let cancer take over, you will not survive.
It’s up to you how you choose to kill the cancer within you.