How Cancer is Being Treated Today?

2019-10-01 07:36:53

Cancer has been a global problem for decades, but the changing lifestyle and unhealthy food preferences are aggravating this problem.


The Prevalence of cancer is increasing at an alarming rate globally. 18 million new cases of cancer been discovered every year. With cancer being such a menace in almost all countries, the prevention of cancer is one of the significant challenges of the healthcare industry.


Treatment of Cancer

The earlier cancer is identified and treated; the more are its chances of being cured. Particular types of cancer such as those of the breast, skin, mouth, testicles, prostate, and rectum may be identified by routine self-exam or other screening measures before the symptoms turn critical. A majority of cases of cancer are detected and diagnosed after a tumour can be felt or when other symptoms develop. In some cases, cancer is diagnosed incidentally as a result of evaluating or treating other medical conditions.


Cancer diagnosis begins thorough a physical exam and complete medical history. Laboratory check-ups of blood, urine, and stool may detect abnormalities that relate to cancer. When patients show signs of a tumour, imaging tests such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and fibre-optic endoscopy examinations are carried out to determine cancer's location and size. To confirm the diagnosis, doctors mostly perform a biopsy, in which a tissue sample is removed from the suspected tumour and studied under a microscope to check for cancer cells.


If the diagnosis is positive, other tests are performed to provide precise details about cancer. This customary follow-up phase of diagnosis is called staging. The most essential part the doctors figure out first is whether cancer has spread from one area of the body to another.

Based on the type and stage of cancer, treatments to destroy the tumour or slow its growth may involve some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or immunotherapy.


People with same cancer may have different treatments. The decision over the treatment is based on:

l  Where in the body cancer started?

l  The size of cancer and the stage

l  The grade of cancer or how fast it is growing

l  The type of cancer cells in the tumour

l  Any symptoms that the patient may have from the cancer


Some of the common types of cancer treatment are:

l  Chemotherapy – this uses anti-cancer drugs to eradicate cancer cells

l  Surgery – this is carried out to remove all or part of cancer with an operation

l  Radiotherapy – this uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells in one area and can be given both externally and internally.

l  Immunotherapy – this uses the immune system to find and destroy cancer cells.


Newer Ways of Treating Cancer

With the evolution of medical science, gene therapy has stepped in. With this method, the cancer cells can be replaced by healthy cells. Gene therapy is applied in different ways for cancer treatment.


Blocking Processes that Helps Cancer Cells Survival

In this treatment, the processes that cancer cells use to survive are blocked. Most cells in the body are programmed to die if their DNA is damaged beyond repair. Cancer cells attempt to stop this process for their survival. Thus, the main aim of this therapy is to reverse this blockage implemented by the cancer cells.


Altered Viruses

This method uses viruses to kill cancer cells rather than delivering it to the genes. For instance, Drug T-VEV is one of the types of altered viruses, it uses a strain of cold sore viruses and commands those viruses to destroy the cancer cells. T-VEC has become a successful mean of gene therapy and is now used in the treatment of melanoma skin cancer, and head and neck cancer.


Gene Inhibition Therapy

Inhibition therapy could be used for the treatment of infectious diseases, inherited disease and cancer caused due to inappropriate gene activity. The goal here is to produce a gene whose product inhibits the expression of another gene or interferes with the activity of the product of another gene. Gene inhibition therapy helps to eliminate the activity of a gene that encourages the growth of cancer cells.

 

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