Ample Cancer Treatment Options Give Patients Flexibility

For as long as modern cancer care has existed, chemotherapy has been the traditional treatment method to combat this unfortunate disease. Using a variety of drugs, chemotherapy acts against cancer cells by killing them after they divide. By doing this, chemotherapy prevents the growth and spread of these dangerous cells.

In recent years, alternative treatment methods have emerged, the most reliable of which are practiced at Saint Francis Healthcare. Such medical treatments include targeted therapies and immunotherapy, and it is important to discuss each of their merits.

Chemotherapy

Using strong chemicals, chemotherapy is designed to kill the fastest growing cells in cancer patients, which are the cancer cells themselves. Additionally, this treatment acts to relieve the many adverse symptoms of cancer. For example, chemotherapy decreases the size of tumors that cause pain and complications in patients. Chemotherapy is used to treat a wide range of cancers via a variety of delivery systems.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a treatment designed to fight cancer cells using the body’s own immune system. There is an evident advantage simply based on the rationale behind this treatment. Rather than fight cancer with an external source, immunotherapy utilizes the human body itself as a weapon against the disease, making use of the patient’s natural defense system. Immunotherapies can consist of modified viruses or cells that, once altered, are reintroduced into the body to fight the specific cancer.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapies fight cancer cells on a molecular basis. While chemotherapy attacks the entire cell, targeted therapies attack the molecules of the cell that cause growth and spreading. These treatments are beneficial due to their prevention of cancer-cell proliferation. Doctors may choose to implement a targeted therapy based on the type of cancer, as different cancers grow and spread in different ways.

Conclusion

Chemotherapy remains the most common treatment and for good reason. However, other treatment methods have great potential for success. In fact, many healthcare professionals have implemented treatment methods that pair chemotherapy with another form of care. Accompanying chemotherapy with surgery or either of the aforementioned alternatives allows multiple treatments to tackle the same disease, increasing the chances of a favorable outcome. Each cancer case, though, must be assessed on an individual basis, and the proper treatment strategy should be decided based on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s preference and a series of additional factors.

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