What terms do you think of when talking about cancer? It is likely the term “chemotherapy” will come to mind first. Nevertheless, chemo is not the first treatment to be considered. Chemotherapy is sometimes overshadowed by other treatments with less severe side effects. Today, oncologists can tailor cancer treatments to each patient’s specific type of cancer and treatment needs thanks to new treatments and advances in personalized care.
What Are The Types Of Cancer Treatments?
Most cancers are treated surgically except for blood cancers, to remove the solid tumor altogether or at least most of it. Cancers that are still at an early stage and haven’t spread are particularly well treated by this therapy. Many patients with stage 1 cancers do not require any other treatment except surgery, depending on factors such as the size of the tumor. Even after a tumor spreads beyond its original location, surgery can play an important role in the treatment of cancer. Even in the late stages of cancer treatment, surgery is vital. Surgery’s role has expanded in recent years, and that’s exciting to see.
✳ Targeted therapies:
Oncologists tailor cancer medications to suit the needs of each patient using targeted therapies, referred to as precision medicine. Genetic profile analysis of tumors and blood samples is a common procedure. Clinicians can then administer medication targeting those genes that cause cancer. A pill or intravenous delivery of medicines destroys cancer cells or prevents them from growing. It is possible to use targeted therapies at any stage of cancer treatment: as a first treatment, to prevent cancer return, or after a cancer return.
For eg: Patients with breast cancer are commonly tested for the HER2 gene, which plays a role in stimulating breast cancer cell growth. Oncologists use trastuzumab or pertuzumab when a patient tests positive for HER2. Medications like these help stop cancer cell growth, usually without affecting healthy cells.
The immune system can be boosted by immunotherapy, a relatively new approach to cancer treatment. The immune system can fight more than one type of cancer and is capable of fighting even the most advanced and difficult-to-treat cancers. While researchers continue to investigate immunotherapy’s potential, several approved drugs have become commonplace for the treatment of certain cancers.
Patients have many new options thanks to immunotherapy, and it has become the standard of care for certain patients. They do not lose their hair as a result. They don’t feel sick at all. Occasionally, they may experience minor side effects. However, some victims may encounter side effects based on the type of cancer treated and the medication administered. Patients receive immunotherapies through IV infusions.
✳ Watchful waiting:
For some types of cancers, watchful waiting (also known as active surveillance) may suffice. In the case of early-stage cancer that is growing slowly or not at all, your doctor may recommend this approach. As an example, prostate cancer, which is typically slow-growing, is often advised to be monitored via active surveillance. Tests to measure the prostate-specific antigen of patients and monitoring symptoms are performed by doctors. Once the cancer symptoms are worsened or tests indicate that the cancer is growing more rapidly, additional treatments will be discussed.
✳ Supportive care:
Supportive cancer care may be an effective supplement to standard cancer treatment, allowing patients to cope with the physical and emotional stresses associated with cancer treatment. The use of psychotherapy and massage therapy can be helpful for patients to cope with their anxiety after being diagnosed; acupuncture is helpful for pain relief. A nutritionist can keep a patient’s body as healthy as possible during treatment, by making sure they don’t lose too much weight. When undergoing active surveillance, patients often don’t experience any symptoms and go about their usual daily routines. If you have exhausted all other treatment options and wish to take a break from treatment side effects, surveillance may be the best option for you.
The following are other forms of integrative medicine:
- An aromatherapy treatment
- A fitness class would be beneficial
- An introduction to hypnosis
- Meditation for mindfulness
As long as you are keeping a patient mentally and physically healthy, you will be able to alleviate the stress of cancer. Cancer patients can take advantage of a growing number of tools to cope with the disease. A lot of progress has been made, and there will be more in the future.
Lacey Arlo is a wellness expert and a nutritionist who aims to help members with health and diet queries. Lacey Arlo has worked with junior, national, and Olympic-level athletes by providing them with customizing programmers, supplement strategies, and support during their travel and competition. From weight management, PCOD, thyroid-related weight loss, and nutrition for children to diets for pregnant and diets for senior citizens, She offers nutrition-aided solutions for different age groups with consideration for each person’s unique health demands.