Cancer - General Aspects


These include

The doctor may use one or a combination of the above methods to treat cancer. This would depend on type of cancer, location of cancer, extent of spread and patient’s general health.


Surgery is a local treatment that removes the tumor and any nearby tissue that is likely to contain cancer cells. During surgery, doctors often remove lymph glands that are near to the tumor to see if they contain cancer cells. If the patient presents early, cancers can be treated without major surgery. Endoscopes(microscope/telescope) can be used. This type of surgery is known as "Minimally Invasive Surgery" and has the advantage of no external cuts, minimal bleeding during surgery and rapid recovery. Early breast cancers can be treated with removal of the lump only and not the entire breast.


In Radiation therapy, high-energy radiations are used to damage cancer cells so they are unable to grow and multiply. The two most common types of radiation are external radiation and implants. Most of the side effects that occur, although unpleasant, are not permanent.


Treatment with anticancer drugs called chemotherapy is used to destroy cancer cells by disrupting their ability to grow and multiply. There are many different drugs given orally or by injections. Chemotherapy works mainly on cancer cells, but it also affects other rapidly growing cells, like hair cells and cells that line the digestive tract. As a result, patients may have side effects such as hair loss, nausea and vomiting. Most anticancer drugs also affect the bone marrow, decreasing its ability to produce blood cells and thus making patients more susceptible to infection.


Some of the cancer depends upon hormones for their growth. The treatment for such tumors may include drugs to block the body’s production of hormones or surgery to remove these hormone-producing organs.

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