Cancer treatment is defined as the uncontrolled growth of cells, which becomes abnormal and disorganized and spreads throughout the body. Two types of cancer are primary and metastasis. Primary means that cancer started at one place and spread to another place. Metastasis means that cancer travels from its original site to a different area in the body. In this article, you will learn about the major types of cancer treatment and it’s regarding information in detail.
The main types of cancer treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. They vary depending upon their ways of action and the cost of the treatment, where chemotherapy price being the lowest. Some of the most commonly used methods are also chemotherapy to treat cancer even though it does have many side effects.
A tumor is a mass of malignant (cancer) cells. Tumors vary greatly in size, shape, and location. Some tumors are benign (not harmful), while others may cause serious harm to the individual who carries them. Benign tumors do not invade surrounding tissue, and they tend to have a slow rate of growth. Malignant tumors (cancers) can invade nearby organs and structures, causing damage to the affected area.
Cancerous cells divide rapidly and often without control. The rapid division causes the cancer cells to crowd together and create a solid mass called a tumor. In general, cancers start out small, and over time, they grow larger, invade nearby tissues, and eventually spread to distant sites.
Cells have several ways to get rid of unwanted materials, including programmed cell death (apoptosis). If the apoptotic program does not work properly, damaged cells continue to multiply. This results in a tumor, which is a group of cancer cells that are dividing uncontrollably.
The three basic steps in the development of cancer are initiation, promotion, and progression. Initiation refers to the first step in the formation of a tumor; it occurs when a single mutated (changed) cell divides and produces daughter cells. Promotion refers to the second stage of cancer development; it takes place when the cells begin to proliferate faster than normal and become more resistant to apoptosis. Progression involves spreading the tumor to other parts of the body.
Type of cancer treatment:
There are several types of cancer treatment which includes:
Antibiotic use should be avoided if possible. Antibiotics have been shown to cause genetic mutations in bacteria and fungi and can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains. As a result, many doctors recommend avoiding antibiotics altogether. However, there are some situations when they may be necessary. A course of antibiotics is often prescribed after surgery or a serious illness and taken for several weeks. Antibiotics are useful for treating bacterial infections, including those caused by viruses.
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer using chemotherapeutic drugs. These drugs kill cancer cells directly and interfere with cell division. Most chemotherapy agents act by damaging DNA (DNA alkylating agent), inhibiting enzymes involved in DNA replication (DNA topoisomerase inhibitors) or by interfering with microtubules (microtubule stabilizing agent). There are two types of chemotherapy: systemic and local. Systemic chemotherapy is administered systemically throughout the body via intravenous infusion, injection, or oral ingestion. Local chemotherapy involves administering drugs locally at the tumor site, rather than systemically.
3. Antiviral Agents
Many antiviral agents can be used to treat viral illnesses. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) are both treated with acyclovir, which is marketed under the trade name Zovirax. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection can be treated with zidovudine, lamivudine, didanosine, stavudine, efavirenz, nelfinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, abacavir, amprenavir, delavirdine, saquinavir, and tipranavir. Hepatitis B is treated with interferon alpha, lamivudine and adenine arabinoside. Influenza is commonly treated with amantadine and rimantadine.
Immunotherapy can be used to treat certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, allergies, or inflammation. An immune system booster called granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GMCSF) is given to patients who have had bone marrow transplants. It stimulates stem cells in the bone marrow to multiply and produce more white blood cells. In addition, GMCSF decreases the number of neutrophils, which are part of the body’s first line of defense against disease. Another example of immunotherapy is monoclonal antibody therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are produced from hybridoma cells and target specific molecules on the surface of pathogens. Examples of monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancer include Rituxan (rituximab), Avastin (bevacizumab), Campath (Campath 1 H), CAMPATH-1G (CAMPATH 1 H IgG), and Omontys (omalizumab).
Radiotherapy uses high-energy radiation to destroy malignant tumors and has become a standard treatment option for many cancers. Radiation kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA. When DNA is damaged, the cell cannot divide properly, causing it to die. Radiotherapy works best when the patient’s cancer is diagnosed early enough before any metastasis occurs. Other side effects of radiotherapy include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, mouth sores, skin changes, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Side effects tend to go away over time and do not affect long-term survival rates.
Surgery is often performed for noncancerous conditions like cysts, abscesses, trauma, or hernias. Many surgeries require general anesthesia with breathing tubes inserted down the throat and into the trachea. General anesthesia prevents the patient from feeling pain during the operation. Sometimes people have regional anesthesia where only a nerve block is performed. Regional anesthesia does not always work well and sometimes requires additional medication. The surgical procedure is done through incisions, stitches, or staples. Surgical procedures are generally less invasive, but they can leave scars, cause bleeding, or damage nerves. Pain relief medications are typically administered after most surgeries.
Cryotherapy is the treatment of disease by freezing the affected area. This technique was originally developed to treat frostbite. Ice packs are placed on the area then removed once the ice crystals start to appear. Freezing temperatures kill off harmful microbes and slow the growth of cancers. Cryotherapy is used to treat cancers of the prostate, rectum, cervix, head and neck, and skin.