Diseases Cancer

the Most Frequently Used Types Of Cancer Treatment

Introduction

The most frequently used types of cancer treatment have been the standard for treating the disease for many years. Treatment options such as chemotherapy are often the first step that medical professional recommend when dealing with cancerous cells and tumors. The determination of which treatment to use is often made after accessing the severity of the disease, how it is impacting other areas of the body and the general health of the patient. A patient that has an underlying condition that is sensitive to the available treatments may need to confer with several medical professionals before deciding which method they want to pursue to take care of the disease.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is one of the most frequently used types of cancer treatment. The treatment involves the use of certain drugs to destroy cancerous cells in the body. Chemotherapy is used by medical professionals to stop or slow the spread of cancerous cells to other parts of the body. The treatment often destroys cancerous cells so that they are undetectable during diagnostic tests. Although chemotherapy is designed to destroy cancerous cells in the body, it can also harm or destroy healthy cells in the body which can lead to a host of side effects. Common side effects of chemotherapy include hair loss, loss of appetite and extreme fatigue. The therapy is administered through several means including injection, intravenously and orally. The method and dosage of chemotherapy that is given is based on the progression of the cancer, its location and the overall health of the patient.

Radiation Therapy

Cancer patients may also be given radiation therapy to treat the disease. As one of the most frequently used types of cancer treatment, it is designed to kill or destroy cancer cells from either within or outside the body. Radiation therapy employs high-energy radiation beams to kill cancerous cells' DNA. Radiation therapy is often given in combination with other cancer treatments including chemotherapy. Radiation is given in the hopes of either killing or reducing the size of a tumor that is affecting other parts of the body including the esophagus and spine. The type of radiation therapy that is prescribed for a cancer patient is dependent on several factors including the size of the cancer, how close it is to other tissues that are sensitive to radiation and the age and overall health of the patient. Potential side effects of the most frequently used types of cancer treatment can include fibrosis, diarrhea and infertility. In some instances, a patient may experience memory loss or be at an increased risk of developing another cancer.

Surgery

Surgery is usually an option in the treatment of cancer. In fact, it is one of the most frequently used types of cancer treatment. Surgery involves the removal of cancerous cells and any surrounding tissue that may have been affected by the cancer. Some medical professionals may also opt to use cryosurgery to remove cancerous tumors. Cryosurgery involves freezing abnormal or cancerous cells and then removing them. As with any surgery, there are risks with using surgery to remove cancerous cells and tumors. Common side effects include infection, loss of sensation and swelling. In some are instances, a loss of pigmentation can occur when using cryosurgery.

By Laurel Moore, published at 02/22/2012
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