Last Updated on September 1st, 2019
Human body comprises of millions and trillions of cells. Normally, these cells grow and divide to form new cells when our body requires them. The new cells replace the older ones. However, in some conditions this systematic process of cell growth and divisions gets out of control. In such cases, the old damaged cells survive when they should die and the new cells also form even when they are not required. This uncontrolled division of cells that can spread over to the surrounding tissues in the human body is known as Cancer.
“Cancer”- this small word is enough to turn anybody’s world upside down. It can send chills down your spine and make you feel hopeless. No doubt, it is an awful disease but many times it is curable, and yet the patient is unaware. Cancer is certainly not the end of the world. The best advice for a cancer patient is not to give up and fight back with all his might & proper treatments. There are many people in the world who have not only fought hard but eventually won over this dreadful disease, cancer. We have all seen celebrities like Yuvraj Singh, Lance Armstrong Lisa Ray, Manisha Koirala fight successful battles with Cancer.
More details about cancer
There are more than 100 types of cancer known to the world. Generally these types of cancers are named for the organs or the tissues, where the cancer originates. In India, 10 most common types of cancers are Breast cancer, cervical cancer, Uterine & Ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, Colon cancer, Lung cancer, Blood cancer, Bone cancer, Oral cancer and Stomach cancer. Different forms of cancers call for different types of treatments, however, early diagnosis is a must in all of them. Again, there are many Best Cancer Hospitals in India with some of the top oncologists for cancer treatment.
The most commonly used treatments for this dangerous disease are as follows:
This is by far the oldest form of cancer treatments, and even today, it is an effective way to treat many types of cancers. In a curative cancer surgery, the surgical oncologist removes the tumor and its surrounding tissues from the patient’s body. But that’s not all, surgery in cancer is also used for various other reasons. For most of the cancers, surgery (biopsy and staging surgery) is the only way for a definitive diagnosis regarding the form and extent of cancer in the body. Sometimes, it is used to aid in other cancer therapies. Oncologists also perform preventive surgeries, reconstructive surgeries and also palliative surgeries during cancer treatments as and when required.
In this approach, high energy radiations like, X rays, gamma rays and charged particles, are used to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. These radiations create small breaks into the DNA inside the cells, and thus prevent further growth and division of the cancer cells, eventually causing them to die. There are three ways to give radiation therapy;
External radiation – high energy rays are directed into the tumor using machines
Internal radiation- a radioactive source is put inside the body near/ into the tumor
Systematic radiation –radioactive drugs are given; either through the mouth or through vein
The radiation oncologist chooses among these forms of radiation therapy depending upon the kind of cancer the patient has.
In this type of treatment, drugs are used to kill cancer cells. Unlike radiation therapy and surgery, which works on a particular part of the human body, chemotherapy can work throughout the body of the patient and can kill those cells also which somehow spread far away from the original tumor. Chemotherapy is not only given with curative intent but also to control the disease by stopping cancer cells to grow/ spread further. There is also a palliative chemotherapy, which is used to ease the symptoms caused by the advanced stages of cancer, to reduce the pain and help the patient feel better.
Immunotherapy is a way to treat cancer in which the patient’s immunity system is given a boost to fight against cancer. One way to do it is to stimulate the patient’s immunity system to fight cancer cells, and alternatively the patient is given some man-made substances to improve or to restore his immune system. Oncologists use Immunotherapy alone as well as in combination with other cancer treatments to treat cancer. Researches are underway to explore newer types of immune treatment to combat this terrible disease.
Cancer cells are different from normal cells of the human body in many ways, and these differences are responsible for their faster growth and division. The drugs that aim at treating these differences are known as target drugs and the treatment that involves them is known as target therapy. Technically, target drugs are same as chemo drugs but they work differently as they aim at a specific part of cancer cells. They can be used to block chemical signals to cancer cells, or to change proteins within cancer cells, carry toxins to cancer cells to kill them etc.
So cancer is certainly not the end of the world. Medical science has come up with a wide variety of treatments such as precision oncology and researchers are working hard to find a complete cure for this dangerous disease.
Many hospitals across the country such as Tata Memorial hospital (Mumbai), Apollo Cancer Institute (Hyderabad, Chennai & New Delhi), American Oncology Institute (Hyderabad), etc. provide best services for cancer treatments.
Have faith in God and never give up hope! Happy Living!!
Aafiya is a health and wellness enthusiast. She utilizes her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to.
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