Cancer is referred to be the uninhibited growth of the unusual cells present in one’s own body. The other name given to cancerous growth or cells is malignant cells. There are different types of cancer and the most popular ones are colon cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer. The severity of each depends greatly on the diet pattern differing from one country to another. First the diagnosis is done before treatment is carried forward. A few of the most general tests done including blood tests, biopsy, chest x-ray, bone marrow biopsy, CT scan, complete blood count and MRI scan.
Diagnosis yields positive results mostly while doing biopsy after which the exact location is figured out through CT scan that also determines the size and severity of the tumor. It is significant to talk with the doctor before proceeding about the cancer treatment and all that a patient must know about. There are several treatment options known today but each of it has its own benefits and risks related to it. Therefore, it is highly advised to talk with the doctor about the best and the most affordable treatments for cancer that can help you get out of this fatal condition.
When it comes to treatment, the stage of the illness plays a major role in determine which one to carry out. Here you can find a few treatment options progress depending on the stage and spread.
- Surgery is the most common approach for cancer if and only if it is confined to a particular place without extending its growth to other parts of the body. Colon, breast, lung and skin cancers are mostly cured by surgery.
- If local lymph nodes are affected by the spread of tumor, the surgical approach can remove the same.
- If surgery doesn’t leave an option to cure the condition, the other choices are chemotherapy, radiation and at times both are essential. In other cases, a triple combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery becomes a necessity.
- In case of lymphoma where the lymph glands are affected surgery does not provide a good solution. Instead, radiation and chemotherapy are greatly preferred options that have yield great results.
Along with all the above treatments for cancer, the most important part is to keep up with your strength so that you are never let down in anyway. Try to be as happy as possible and stay positive to fight this dreadful disease. Usually what happens is that people lose their hope and they start thinking negative and about death thus making the condition worst. Believe in your treatment and strive to come out of this stressful condition happily and successfully.
Prostate cancer is a very dangerous disease to have because most men don’t even realize that they are suffering from it until it is too late to do anything. Prostate cancer radiation treatment is a very effective way of dealing with this disease (along with surgery and hormone therapy). It is generally administered externally or internally depending on the specifics of the case. If the cancer is diagnosed early on then the radiation is given externally. If not, it is given internally.
Prostate cancer radiation treatment generally has a few negative side effects that can result in a lot of problems for the patient. All radiation treatments usually result in nausea, fatigue, skin irritation and diarrhea. However, the proximity of the prostate to the reproductive/urinary area means that it results in side effects that are especially difficult for men to deal with. These side effects include:
- Loss of pubic hair (or severe thinning of it)
- Bowel problems including bleeding
Needless to say, the severity of the side effects varies according to the extent of the disease and the level and duration of radiation that the patient has undergone. Men who are lucky enough to require less radiation will recover from these problems within a few months or even years of the treatment being completed. For instance, a man can do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles so that he regains control over the urinary process. Doctors even prescribe medications to deal with this problem.
It is men who have had prolonged prostate cancer radiation treatment who have to worry about permanent side effects. Their problems will be compounded if they have had to undergo chemotherapy as well. In such cases, there are treatments available to deal with some of the side effects. For instance, implants and artificial devices are available to help a man achieve an erection. However, there is no treatment for permanent infertility. If a man wishes to retain the option of having children at a later date then he should ensure that his sperm samples are stored before the treatment begins.
A man who is planning to undergo prostate cancer radiation treatment should have a detailed talk with his oncologist so that he understands exactly what he is getting into. It is necessary to keep in mind that this is a very lethal disease that only responds to aggressive treatment without any half measures.
Cancer radiation therapy is a very commonly administered treatment for this disease. It can be used alone or in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy in order to bring about a full or partial cure for the disease. The radioactive rays are directed into the cancer affected areas in order to kill the affected cells. Like any other treatment program, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to radiation treatment as well.
Pros of Radiation Therapy
- The rays kill any cancer cells remaining in the body after surgery. It can therefore be used to halt the spread of cancer from one organ to the other or even a recurrence of the same cancer. Cells at the margins of tumors might not be removed surgically even though they might be infected with the disease in its early stages..
- Tumors can be made to shrink in size so that they are easy to remove surgically. It is sometimes possible to avoid surgery entirely by destroying tumors using radiation.
- It alleviates some of the side effects of cancer that result in pain. It can also be used to remove obstructions to the airways that make it difficult for the patient to breathe.
Cons of Radiation Therapy
- There are a whole lot of negative side effects such as nausea, skin damage, weakness, hair loss, loss of appetite etc. However, these side effects are generally temporary in nature and the body reverts to its original state after the treatment is concluded. People who lose hair on account of this treatment sometimes grow back hair that has an unfamiliar texture.
- Prolonged exposure to radiation can cause heart damage and fertility problems. These problems are unfortunately irreversible.
- Some people develop new cancers on account of their exposure to radiation. This is generally a problem in young patients.
It is very important for a patient to fully understand the various pros and cons of radiotherapy so that they can take the right decision regarding it. Knowing about the disadvantages in advance can also help a person take the correct preventive and remedial measures in time. It is also important to realize that no treatment method for cancer is without its own disadvantages.
therapy can be done before or after surgery depending on the circumstances. It can also be administered internally or externally. This treatment method takes a long time but doctors use it because of the many advantages it occurs.
As a medical student, you have many crucial decisions to make regarding your career path. Most specializations require many years of study and you will find it very difficult to change course midway through. A career as an oncologist hematologist can be a very rewarding one and therefore there is a great amount of interest in it these days. However, you do need to know exactly what it entails so that you can make the right decision regarding your career at the very outset.
An oncologist hematologist is a physician who treats disorders, especially malignancies, of the blood. As a specialist in oncology hematology, you will need to get training in both these fields. When it comes to practicing medicine, you will be called upon to practice a combination of both these fields. However, if one area or the area seems more interesting to you then you can specialize in it.
You will rarely be called on to treat cancers of the brain, breast, pancreas etc. where surgery is required. Your involvement with these cancers will be to manage large tumors that have been caused by them. You will instead be consulted in cases of leukemia, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia etc. Most specialists in this field also do a lot of work with bone marrow transplants or stem cell studies.
An oncologist hematologist gets to this position by starting out at medical school which generally takes 4 years. This has to be followed by training in internal medicine which takes 3 years to be completes. The final step is a fellowship in oncology hematology which requires an additional 3 years. Some of the most reputed hospital sand research centers offer fellowships in this field and there is much demand for seats there.
10 years is a lot of time to invest in one’s career but there are many rewards to be had from it. While this field is indeed a good one for making money, it also provides a great deal of satisfaction to doctors who like the challenge of treating difficult ailments and breaking new ground in the field of medicine. Doctors generally have to put in many hours a day at work and this rule applies to this field as well. The best cancer hospitals require doctors who specialize in this field. The growing interest in stem cell research also has resulted in increasing demand for such doctors.
Breast cancer radiation therapy is one of the most commonly offered treatment methods because it offers patients a very good chance of a complete cure and no remission. It is generally offered after a mastectomy or lumpectomy in order to kill any remaining cancer cells that have not been removed during the surgery. In the case of advanced breast cancers, radiation is offered instead of surgery. The immediate side effects of this treatment include nausea, skin irritation, fatigue, diarrhea etc., but there are many ways of dealing with them so as to reduce overall discomfort. However, there are other side effects that are more debilitating and longer lasting.
It is very important for a patient who is about to undergo breast cancer radiation therapy to understand its long term implications. While this method of treatment is sometimes absolutely necessary, understanding its complications will help the patient take the necessary decisions.
- Heart Disease: A small percentage of people who undergo radiation treatment for breast cancer go on to suffer from heart attacks because their heart gets damaged due to radiation. These heart attacks are generally very serious and there have been many instances of patients dying on account of them.
- Lung Inflammation: The lung that is closest to the breast that undergoes radiation generally gets damaged. This damage takes the form on inflammation and it is known as pneumonitis. The symptoms of this disease are markedly stronger in case the nearby lymph nodes are also treated with radiation, as is almost always the case when the cancer is advanced.
- Secondary Cancers: Prolonged exposure to radiation sometimes causes an entirely different cancer to spring up at a later date. There have been many instances of women who were cured of breast cancer to have another one 5 – 10 years later on.
- Fragile Bones: Radiation treatment has been known to cause bones of the ribs, shoulders etc. to break easily even if they are subjected to very slight strain.
These side effects of radiation treatment generally take a year to manifest themselves, taking most patients completely unaware. However, they are very serious and cannot be neglected under any circumstance. Even so, many patients agree to undergo treatment with radiation since it gives them the best chance of beating the disease. A patient who undergoes this treatment should therefore be very careful at all times or else she will find that the cure is as lethal as the disease.