Have you or someone you know been recently diagnosed with cancer?
A gut-wrenching time that no one is prepared for, cancer is a non-discriminatory disease that can affect anyone at any point in their life.
Fortunately, many cancer treatments are available, many of which can be combined to create highly effective and bespoke treatment plans.
If you feel overwhelmed and confused about cancer treatment, talking to your doctor can help you feel more in control.
Read on to find out more about the currently available cancer treatments to make the right decision for you or your loved one.
What are the different types of cancer treatments?
Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is a highly effective treatment that can be used to treat cancer and ease cancer symptoms.
Chemotherapy is effective at treating many different cancers and can be used as a sole treatment or alongside other therapies.
Radiation therapy involves the use of high doses of radiation to kill cancer and shrink tumors. Two methods of radiation therapy can be used: externally and internally. The former involves an external radiation beam that aims radiation at the cancer, and the latter puts the radiation inside your body.
Radiation therapy can treat multiple cancers and can be used as the only treatment or alongside chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that supports your immune system and helps it fight cancer. It is a form of biological therapy that can effectively treat many different types of cancer.
It is worth knowing that immunotherapy is not as widely used as other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and surgery.
Stem cell transplant
A stem cell transplant, also called a bone marrow transplant, is often recommended for people with blood cancers such as leukemia.
This type of treatment does not usually kill cancer directly but instead helps the body recover from other treatments. However, the exception to this rule is in multiple myeloma and some forms of leukemia, where stem cell transplants may work directly against the cancer.
You can find out more about leukemia and other blood cancers and the most effective treatments at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.
Surgery as a cancer treatment involves removing cancer directly from the body. Most commonly, the surgery is performed using scalpels and other sharp tools to cut the cancer from the body. However, there are other ways of performing surgery for cancer, such as cryosurgery and lasers.
Many cancers can be treated using surgery, but it tends to work best for solid tumors that are contained in one area. It cannot be used for leukemia or cancers that have spread to other body parts.
Hormone therapy is a type of cancer treatment that slows or stops cancer growth and uses hormones to grow. It can be used to treat cancer and to ease cancer symptoms.
This treatment is used to treat breast cancer and prostate cancer and is most commonly used alongside other treatments.