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How is Cancer Treated? – Medical and Holistic Alternatives
To be clear, cancer is related to various kinds of diseases. It is important to keep in mind that with all types of cancer, some of the cells in the body begin to divide without stopping and begin spreading into surrounding tissues. How is cancer treated depends on the patient’s health. A patient’s health must be at least in good shape before any treatment begins. Keep in mind; cancer can begin anywhere in a person’s body.
Four Basic Ways to Treat Cancer
There are four basic ways that cancer is treated; radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery and biologic therapy. Some consider clinical trials when treating cancer but such trials are only for those who meet certain criteria. There are also other alternative cancer treatments such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, massage and yoga.
How Is Cancer Treated?
Cancer is diagnosed by an oncologist, who is a cancer specialist. How is cancer treated is something that a surgeon and his patient decide. An oncologist will recommend which treatment plan will work best for you, based on the kind of cancer you have, how far the cancer has spread and other pertinent information such as your overall health and age.
Surgery Is Just One Option
Surgery is a method that is chosen by some because it is used to prevent, treat, diagnose and determine how far along the cancer has advanced. Surgery is also performed in order to remove tumors and cancerous tissues. How is cancer treated is a discussion topic that a patient and his or her surgeon must discuss. Surgery is also performed along with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. If a surgeon finds that a person’s cancer cannot be treated, palliative surgery is performed.
More on Palliative Surgery
This kind of surgery is not done to cure or treat cancer; it is done to lessen the discomfort of cancer. In contrast, chemotherapy is cancer treatment that uses drugs to eradicate cancer cells. It is important to note that chemotherapy affects a person’s entire body, not just certain areas of the body. Chemotherapy works by zeroing in on cancer cells that are multiplying at a rapid rate. How is cancer treated is dependent on the options available. However, because other cells in our bodies rapidly multiply such as our hair, hair loss will occur and our stomachs will become upset.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is given intravenously or by pill. Chemotherapy can be prescribed by itself or with radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses various types of energy to kill off or shrink cancer cells. This kind of cancer therapy works by causing damage to the DNA of a cancer cell. This makes the cancer cell unable to multiply. Some may not know it but cancer cells are very sensitive to radiation and often die when treated with radiation.
Biologic and Clinical Trials
Biologic or targeted therapy is when drugs target cancerous tumors. Some targeted therapies work by blocking the way tumors grow; while other therapies cut off the blood supply to the tumor. This causes the tumor to starve and die because there is a lack of blood. There are some who gravitate to clinical trials. This kind of cancer research requires volunteers to test how effective and safe new therapies are; however, volunteers must meet certain standards in order to participate in such a trial. Besides the aforementioned therapies to treat cancer, there are other methods that some choose such as acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is when a skilled practitioner inserts small needles into your skin at certain points. Some studies have shown that acupuncture may relieve nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy, as well as taking away pain that many have with cancer. How is cancer treated is a topic that must be addressed in the beginning. Studies have shown that acupuncture is safe but only if it is done by a licensed practitioner who uses needles that have been sterilized.
What is Aromatherapy?
Another alternative method is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is when fragrant oils are used to give a calming and soothing sensation. These oils may be added to bath water or applied to a person’s skin during a massage. Some have found aromatherapy helpful because it relieves stress, pain and nausea. To be clear, aromatherapy is safe but some oils may cause an allergic reaction.
Can Exercise help?
In addition, exercise can also be looked upon as a kind of alternative method to cancer treatment because it manages symptoms and signs during and after cancer treatment. How is cancer treated is a question that can be answered by the various alternatives available. Some have found exercise to be helpful because it relieves fatigue, stress and helps with sleep.
What about Hypnosis and Massage?
Another alternative is hypnosis. A hypnosis therapist, by talking in a calming voice, may help a person relax as he or she goes through therapy for cancer. Hypnosis may also prevent vomiting and nausea. This alternative method is safe; however, before you choose this option, talk with your doctor first.
How is cancer treated is a question that can be answered by an oncologist. Massage in another alternative method. Massage can be quite helpful because it can provide relief to fatigue, stress and anxiety; feelings that can occur during cancer treatment. Meditation is another alternative to cancer treatment. This method may also relieve stress and anxiety.
To conclude, there are many treatment methods available for cancer. Review the options available, talk with your doctor or surgeon and then select one that will best fit your needs.