For a cancer patient, the treatment plan will be made by the doctor depending on where the cancer is, how big it is, whether it has spread, and the patient’s general health. Usually the doctors will suggest one or combined treatments to treat the diseases.
The most common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy. Besides these conventional treatments, there are integrative treatments, such as immunotherapy, laser, hormonal therapies, and others.
Surgery is a common treatment for many kinds of cancer. In the operation, the surgeon removes the tumor and of the nearby tissues. Though surgery is often the main treatment for cancer, it is not suitable for some types of cancers, such as leukemia ia and cancers in lymphatic system.
Chemotherapy is also commonly used in cancer treatment, which applys anti-cancer drugs via blood vessel (IV) to work throughout the body and kill the cancer cells.
In the chemotherapy, a single drug or a combination of drugs will be given to the patient depending on the origin of the cancer. The oncologist may treatment the cancer with chemotherapy its own, or combine with other treatments as well.
Radiation therapy is a type treatment by using high energy radiation to destroy the cancer cells by damaging the DNA of these cells, in order to prevent them from growing and multiplying and finally lead to cancer cells’ death.
Radiation also affects normal cells. This may cause side effects in the treatment area.
In Targeted Therapy, the doctor will use drugs to stop cancer from growing and spreading with less harm to normal cells. The drugs can be given as a pill or IV.
Targeted drugs will specifically target on cancer cells by destroying and stopping them from spreading, or triggering cancer cells to die on their own.
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that utilizes the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. It improves the body’s ability to detect and kill cancer cells in a more targeted way.
Immunotherapy works specially by:
- Stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells
- Preventing cancer from spreading to other parts of the body
- Boosting the immune system’s ability to get rid of cancer cells
Hormone Therapy is used to treat cancers caused by hormones, such as breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers. In Hormone Therapy, surgeries or durgs are often used to stop or block the body’s natural hormones so as to slow the growth of cancer cells.
This therapy can either be given by injection or pills.
Hyperthermia therapy is an alternative treatment by using the heat to damage and destroy cancer cells without harming normal cells.
This therapy is often used for treating:
- A small area of cells, such as a tumor
- Parts of the body, such as an organ or limb
- The whole body
In the Laser Therapy, the doctor uses a narrow space by applying the beam of light to destroy the cancer cells. Such therapy can be used in treating:
- Destroy tumors and precancerous growths
- Shrink tumors that are blocking the stomach, colon, or esophagus
- Help treat cancer symptoms, such as bleeding
- Seal nerve endings after surgery to reduce pain
- Seal lymph vessels after surgery to reduce swelling and keep tumor cells from spreading
Laser therapy is often given through a thin, lighted tube that is put inside the body. Thin fibers at the end of the tube direct the light at the cancer cells. Lasers are also used on the skin.
Laser Therapy is commonly used in the combination with other cancer treatments.