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Treatment for Cancer

Cancer affects millions of people all over the world, young and old. Today's modern science has developed new methods of treatment for cancer, but there are still great strides that need to be made to improve recovery, healing, and overall quality of life. Since there are so many treatments available, it really depends on several things as to which treatment the patient will receive. The first factor is the severity of the cancer. The oncologist will need to determine how bad the cancer is, and how large the tumor has become. In addition, they will also look to see if it has spread to other areas of the body or if it is just confined to one place. The types of cancer as well as what stage it is in are also factors, as well as the patient's overall health. Older patients may require a different form of treatment than younger ones simply because elderly people handle things differently and are usually more sensitive. The basic types of treatment for cancer are: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy. Obviously, many of these treatment types also depend on the type of cancer, such as hormonal therapy. Surgery is not only used to help treat cancer, it is often used to diagnose it. Doctors often perform surgery on patients to get a “sample” of the possible cancerous tissue. Once discovered, particularly in the case of a tumor, surgery is performed to try and remove as much cancer as possible from the body.

Chemotherapy is the commonly used form of treatment for cancer. In fact, over half of all cancer patients receive chemotherapy as a form of treatment. Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to help eliminate cancer in the body. This treatment can be administered via IV in the veins, oral drugs, rectally, or a combination of all three, depending on what the doctor recommends. Many, if not all chemotherapy patients experience hair loss during their treatment. While a lot of cancer patients have found great success with chemotherapy, still others have not. It is something that has puzzled doctors over the years, but remains a commonly used treatment nonetheless. Radiation therapy uses high levels of radiation to sort of “zap” the cancer from the body. It is supposed to help damage the existing cancer cells, and also to discourage any new ones from growing. Radiation therapy can be performed by externally exposing the body to high levels of radiation in certain areas, or small implants can be placed inside the body with radioactive materials to help “kill” the cancer cells. Hormonal and targeted therapy are more specific to certain types of cancer such as prostate, uterine, or cervical cancer for hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy is usually used when the cancerous area is quite small. All of these forms of treatment have different success rates, so it is advised to talk in length with your doctor about what is available to you, in order to make the best decision possible for your health.

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