Cancer is something that we still don’t know enough about. We know a lot, but we don’t know how to cure it. Because of this, there are several different treatments that cancer patients can undergo. These treatments are often used in some combination. The treatment that a patient receives will depend on the stage of cancer, the patient’s age, the type of cancer, health status, and some other characteristics. Here are the most used treatment options:
Surgery. This treatment is mostly only effective if cancer has not spread yet. If the cancer is centralized, doctors can operate to remove the cancer cells or tumor. This is why the prostate or breasts are often removed to cut out cancer cells and prevent spreading.
Radiation. This treatment uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. In previous years, this treatment caused more damage than good because it also targeted the healthy cells. With today’s technology, however, the rays can be better positioned to target only the bad cells.
Chemotherapy. This treatment is controversial in some ways as people believe it causes patients to get more sick. It works by introducing a cocktail of chemicals into the body. These chemicals then travel through the body and inhibit the cell division process. This treatment is usually used when cancer has already started spreading through the body. It is a necessary treatment for some cancers like leukemia. Chemotherapy happens in cycles to give the body time to heal.
Immunotherapy. Some of the immunotherapy treatments are still young in development. The basic idea of this treatment is to strengthen the immune system. A treatment is injected into a specific area where it causes inflammation and the tumor to shrink. Bone marrow transplants can also be seen as an immunotherapy treatment.
Hormone therapy. Cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer have been linked to hormonal changes in the body. For this reason, hormone therapy is used to change the production of the hormones involved. This causes the cancer cells to stop growing or die.
These basic methods of treatment are what is commonly used. There are natural alternatives that have proven effective as well. An oncologist will give you advice on treatments.