A cancer diagnosis is something no one wants to hear. Unfortunately, health problems have a way of sneaking up on us, and cancer can be a startling diagnosis to receive seemingly out of nowhere. A cancer diagnosis can be scary, leaving patients with lots of questions and concerns about their health.
Fortunately, with the constant advancements in science and health, cancer is a fairly treatable condition. With a multitude of effective treatments, even advanced cancer treatment options are available. But what many patients may not understand is what types of treatments there are. Chemotherapy is most often associated with cancer treatment, but there are actually several different types of effective treatments to be found in cancer treatment centers. Let’s review four of the most popular and effective cancer treatments available.
Sometimes, surgery is a valid and effective cancer treatment. However, surgery can only be used if a tumor or tumors are able to be operated on. Not all instances of cancer are easy to operate on, so it depends on an individual’s diagnosis, overall health, and type of cancer.
As a fairly non-invasive cancer treatment, surgery removes the whole tumor or tumors with one procedure. Follow up may be necessary after surgery, but generally, surgery to remove a tumor helps to eliminate all or most of the source of cancer.
Radiation is one of the most popular forms of treatments found in cancer treatment centers. Radiation treatment for cancer is most easily summed up as such: high doses of radiation blast the body to attack and shrink cancer cells. It’s widely used when cancer cells and tumors are spread throughout the body, or are in difficult places to access. Lung cancer treatment often includes a radiation regimen because of the spread of cancer.
Modern in its approach, proton treatment is a type of radiation treatment that’s highly focused. Rather than using x rays, protons are used in a hyper-focused beam to directly target cancerous cells and tumors. It’s been proven that proton therapy decreases the radiation dose to gastrointestinal structures by at least 59% compared to X-rays, which can help reduce the negative side effects that are most often associated with radiation treatment.
Cancer treatment centers will utilize hormone therapy as a treatment for breast cancer or prostate cancer. Because these types of cancers use hormones to continue growing, the hormone therapy targets those hormones in order to prevent the cancer’s growth. Hormone therapy is typically used alongside other treatments, such as surgery. Once the tumor shrinks enough after repeated hormone treatments, surgery can be an effective conclusion to treatment.
The types of cancer treatments are wide and varied much further beyond these four types of treatments. However, these popular types of treatments are typically featured at most cancer treatment centers, and you’re likely to encounter them in some way or form as you embark on your cancer treatment regimen.