Understanding Cancer Treatments

Posted on Jul 14, 2022

Cancer is a complicated disease in which some of the body's cells grow rapidly and uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. The process of formation of new cells is via growth and division. Cells die once they become too old or damaged, and newly formed cells replace them. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, and kills healthy cells by growing into main organs, nerves, or blood vessels and disrupting their function.

How Common Is Cancer?
Cancer is a genetic disease which means, it is caused by changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide. There are certain types of cancer that are more prevalent than the others such as Breast cancer, Lung cancer, Prostate cancer, etc.

What Are the Types of Cancer?
Cancer can be categorized into three types mainly depending on the site where it affects. Organ cancer is most common and attacks breasts, prostate, ovaries, colon, etc. Blood cancer affects your blood cells and bone marrow which is the spongy tissue inside your bones where blood cells are made. Examples are myeloma, leukemia, lymphomas, etc.

What Are the Treatments Available for Cancer?
Cancer at any stage is a physically and mentally challenging disease. Treating cancer is often a multi-disciplinary approach with multiple specialists working together to plan the best treatment plan for the patient. Different types of cancers require different therapies or a combination of these as mentioned below:

Bone Marrow Transplant - A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure performed to replace bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by disease, infection, or chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy - This therapy works on activating the immune cells to make them stronger to fight against cancer. This modality is meant to strengthen the defense mechanism of the body to fight and destroy cancer cells by using the patient’s healthy cells. 
Chemotherapy - This is a medical oncology treatment that involves the use of medicines or drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is an effective cancer care treatment method to help destroy recurring cancer cells or their spread to other parts of the body.
Hormonal Therapy - Hormone Therapy is the administration of medicines to reduce the hormones in the body to help stop or slow down the growth of cancer cells. Hormone therapy is recommended mostly for breast, ovarian, prostate, and endometrial cancers.
Targeted Therapy - This is a precision type of cancer treatment that targets proteins that control how cancer cells grow, divide, and spread.
Radiotherapy - Radiation therapy kills cancer cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy,  is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours.