A diagnosis of cancer is devastating to most people. Unfortunately, around 1.8 million people will be diagnosed with this deadly disease every year. Of those, over 600,000 people die from cancer every year, but approximately 1.2 million will survive. This survival rate is primarily due to a combination of conventional and unconventional treatments.
Radiation is one of the most widely used treatments for cancers such as malignant mesothelioma and small cell lung cancer. A small portion of the body where the cancerous tumors reside is bombarded with radiation. This damages cellular DNA. When combined with surgery and chemotherapy, it is extremely successful.
Surgery is most useful in cases where the disease is only in one area of the body, such as skin cancer or cervical cancer. During surgery, a doctor removes either the tumor or an affected organ or sometimes both. Doctors often combine this with other treatments. It is important to know that surgeons cannot operate on all types of cancer. You also have to catch cancer relatively early before it has metastasized.
Chemotherapy is often thought to be the harshest treatment and uses toxic chemicals to reduce a tumors’ size. This therapy’s side effects are extreme, but it is highly effective against most types of cancer. Oncologists use it to shrink a tumor before surgery or while using radiation. Approximately 650,000 patients treated for cancer receive chemotherapy every year.
This treatment type is very specialized. It uses various medications, including mRNA-based cellular injections called monoclonal antibodies, which in a way recodes the body to fight cancer. Targeted treatments are relatively new on the cancer treatment scene, and many are still experimental.
Stem Cell Transplants
One of the newest forms of cancer treatment, stem cells restore marrow cells, which produce red blood cells. This combats the effects of radiation and other types of cancer treatment. It can help the body recover and allows doctors to use more aggressive forms of chemotherapy and radiation. This is a widely controversial treatment due to the talk surrounding the use of stem cells in medicine.
This type of therapy offers help to patients being treated for breast or prostate cancer. Studies show that it is effective for tumors that use hormones to grow. Hormones are the subject of many studies to see if they are at all beneficial for other types of cancers.
Cancer is a devastating disease, but highly effective and aggressive treatments are available. Your oncologist will be able to advise you of the best course of treatment for you.