There are few things in life scarier to face than a cancer diagnosis. Cancer touches every member of the family and the community, starting with the one who got diagnosed. It turns family members into caretakers and neighbors into a support system. So, it’s no wonder we want all the help we can get when trying to survive and thrive despite this obstacle.
Fortunately, we live in an age that has seen a lot of progress in this area of health care. Survival rates are at an all-time high, and doctors and researchers are continually learning and perfecting ways to beat various kinds of cancer. Still, it is good to know what options are available to our loved ones and us.
Chemotherapy is the process that uses drugs to halt the growth of cancer cells. These drugs either kill the cells outright or else stop the cells from dividing. Chemotherapy can be used alone or alongside other treatments such as radiation or immunotherapy. Unfortunately, this course of treatment can come with a whole host of painful or debilitating side effects that make this course of action extremely unpleasant.
Radiation therapy is another course of treatment that can be effective but comes with some side effects. This is the process that uses high-energy radiation from certain kind of rays (x-rays, gamma rays, and others) to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. There are a few different ways doctors do this. One form is external-beam radiation in which rays come from a machine that is outside the body. Another is internal radiation, where the rays come from a kind of radioactive material put inside the body near the cancer cells.
Nanoknife can be a better option for some, especially those who are not candidates for other more conventional styles of treatment, or for those whom convention treatments failed. Nanoknife cancer surgery uses a localized electrical current and thus is ideal for tumors located near major blood vessels or other critical bodily structures that are too sensitive for regular operation.
Because Nanoknife is so localized, there are other potential benefits. This includes less damage to surrounding healthy tissue, fewer side effects, and a shortened hospital stay. And because it is less invasive with no open incisions to heal, the post-operative recovery is quicker with minimal postoperative pain.
There are other options as well. Immunotherapy is one, where the immune system is stimulated or suppressed to attack cancer cells. Targeted therapy is another, which can attack certain kinds of cancer with less harm to healthy cells. Clinical trials test the efficiency of new medical approaches to cancer. Hormone therapy blocks or interferes with the hormones in the body which can feed and grow cancer cells in certain parts of the body.
These are just a few of the many treatment options out there. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, upsides and downsides, and a range of side effects to be considered. Be sure to talk to your doctor to get all the information on available options for what fits your treatment needs.