Breast, colon, and lung cancer, are among the most common types of cancers people can develop. If you are looking for, or wondering about treatment options, here is a brief overview of the most common cancer treatments currently used.
Breast Cancer Treatment
The treatment used for breast cancer will depend on what type, the size, your age, and additional health concerns.
- Surgery is a commonly used method. A mastectomy is undergone to remove the entire breast or, alternatively a lumpectomy is employed to focus on removing the tumor and affected tissue, while attempting to retain as much healthy breast tissue as possible.
- Radiation therapy may also be undergone, where high-energy is focused to kill off cancerous cells.
- Chemotherapy is a commonly known treatment. Drugs are administered to kill the cancer cells; however, they can also cause hair loss, nausea, and fatigue, among other side effects.
- Targeted therapy options may also be available in which medicines are administered to boost the immune system and help kill of any cells. This, and chemotherapy, can be used in conjunction with surgery or radiation therapy to rid the body of any cells left behind after the other treatments.
Colon Cancer Treatment
Colon cancer comes in 4 different stages:
- Stage 1: The cancer has extended past the lining of the colon, but hasn’t spread past the rectum itself.
- Stage 2: The cancer has gone past the rectum, but hasn’t affected the lymph nodes yet.
- Stage 3: The cancer has spread to lymph nodes; however, hasn’t affected anything beyond.
- Stage 4: The cancer has spread to other organs.
The treatment you receive will depend in the stage the cancer has progressed to.
- Surgery can be used to remove early stage colon cancer. Smaller polyps can be removed via a colonoscopy, while large polyps may require an endoscopic mucosal resection, in which a small portion of the lining is removed. Minimally invasive options to do exist for issues that cannot be fully remedied by the aforementioned options.
- Higher stages of the cancer may require a partial colectomy, in which part of the colon is removed, and the healthy sections are then reconnected. Alternatively, an ostomy can be used if the sections cannot be reconnected. This involves creating an opening in the abdomen that allows for waste removal.
- For highly advanced cases chemotherapy may be employed, along with surgery to relieve blockage in the colon. Radiation and targeted therapies can also be used if the doctor thinks they would be beneficial.
- A newer option in the medical field is proton therapy, which is a highly targeted form of radiation therapy, which has been gaining traction due to its precise targeting capabilities.
Lung Cancer Treatment
Depending on the type and severity, there are a couple options for treatment.
- Surgery, which can be minimally invasive can assist in the removal of cancerous cells
- A wedge section is used to remove a small section of lung containing the tumor.
- A segmental resection is used to remove a larger portion of lung; however, not the entire lobe.
- A lobectomy is used to remove the entire lobe of the lung.
- A pneumonectomy is used to remove the entire lung if the case is severe enough.
- As with the above mentioned types of cancer, radiation therapy can be employed to help treat the disease. I can be used before or after surgery, and in the event surgery cannot be undertaken, it can serve as a primary form of treatment.
- Chemotherapy and targeted therapy can also be employed along with the radiations treatments.
- Immunotherapy can be used on advanced cases, and can help allow the immune system to targeted cancerous cells. This is because some cancers produce a protein that stops immune cells from identifying them as harmful, this therapy stops that from occurring.
Depending on the type of cancer you have, the stage, and where it is, your doctor will be able to create a treatment plan that is customized to be suit your needs. Cancer treatment centers exist in every city, and all around the world, the sooner the treatment begins, the sooner you can get back to doing the things you love most. Don’t risk the wait when your health is at risk.