Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cancer Treatment

Each type of cancer must be dealt with specifically.The major types of treatment are:

Chemotherapy
A drug or combination of drugs are administered to kill cancer cells by hindering their growth and reproduction, with minimal side effects. The drug used are usually given through injection or by mouth. Chemotherapy may be used alone or along with radiation therapy or surgery. Although many unpleasant side effects may result from this treatment, e.g nausea or mouth sores, new and improved approaches have been developed to prevent or moderate these effects.

It is very important to stay positive and take care of yourself during treatment. Eating right can boost your strength and also have as much rest as possible.

Surgery
Certain types of cancer are treated most effectively by simply removing the tumor surgically. Surgery is the oldest form of treating cancer and can also have an important role in diagnosing and staging of cancer.

Surgery is done for many reason which include, but are not limited to: preventative surgery, diagnostic surgery, supportive surgery, reconstructive surgery.

Cryosurgery is a technique for freezing and killing abnormal cells. It is used to treat some kinds of cancer and some precancerous or noncancerous conditions, and can be used both inside the body and on the skin. The technique is still under study, and its long-term effectiveness is not known.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy specifically acts against cells that are reproducing rapidly. Radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays to damage the DNA of cells, thereby killing the cancer cells, or at least stopping them from reproducing. Radiation also damages normal cells, but because normal cells are growing more slowly, they are better able to repair this radiation damage than are cancer cells. In order to give normal cells time to heal and to reduce a patient's side effects, radiation treatments are typically given in small daily doses, five days a week, over a six-or seven-week period. It is estimated that more than 50% of cancer patients will receive radiation at some point during their treatment.

Radiation therapy is considered to be a "localized" therapy because it treats a specific localized area of the body. This is in contrast to systemic therapies, such as chemotherapy, which travel throughout the body. There are two main types of radiation therapy: external radiation therapy, where a beam of radiation is directed from outside the body, and internal radiation therapy, also called brachytherapy or implant therapy, where a source of radioactivity is surgically placed inside the body near the tumor.

There are many other treatment options so don't refuse to explore your options. Speak with a health care professional and/or your personal physician and get as much information you need.
Knowledge is power so know your facts and be informed. God bless!

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