Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body. These cells can invade and destroy healthy tissues and organs, leading to serious health problems and sometimes death. Cancer can occur in any part of the body and can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
The causes of cancer are complex and multifactorial. Some factors that increase the risk of developing cancer include age, genetics, exposure to carcinogens (such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, and radiation), unhealthy lifestyle habits (such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption), and certain infections (such as human papillomavirus and hepatitis B and C).
The symptoms of cancer can vary depending on the type and location of the cancer. Some common symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, pain, changes in the skin, and unusual bleeding or discharge. However, many people with cancer have no symptoms in the early stages, which is why regular cancer screening is so important.
Treatment options for cancer depend on the type, stage, and location of the cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health and preferences. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be used.
Cancer Treatment Options
A number of options are available for treating cancer. These treatments depend on location in the body, stage, type and extent of the cancer. The most common therapies include –
Surgery: Surgical removal of the tumor, if it is limited to its origin site. Also lymph nodes and nearby tissue can also be removed by the means of surgery. This surgical procedure can either use laser or conventional instruments.
Radiation Therapy: In this therapy, cancer and certain diseases are treated with ionizing radiation. The cancer cells and their genetic substance are destroyed by ionizing radiation in the area being treated. This therapy makes it impossible for these cells to grow further.
Hormone Therapy: This treatment use hormones, for changing the way hormones helps the cancer grow in the body. This therapy is mostly used in breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drug cells. These drugs help in destroying the cancer cells by stopping multiplication or growth at a certain point in their life cycles. These drugs are given by injecting into a muscle, applied to the skin, by mouth (orally) or into the vein (intravenously). This depends on the drug and also on the cancer type. This therapy is usually provided in cycles of alternating treatments and rest periods.
Biological Therapy (Immunotherapy): This therapy indirectly or directly uses the immune system of the body in order to fight cancer. This therapy also reduces the side effects that have developed due to some other cancer treatments.
Stem cell transplant: Stem cell transplant is also known as bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow is the material inside the bones that makes blood cells from blood stem cells. A stem cell transplant can use your own stem cells or stem cells from a donor. New stem cells grow into mature disease-free cells.