Cancer is a disease in which cells multiply out of control and gradually build a mass of tissue called a tumor. There has been a large amount of research dedicated to the treatment and cure of cancer. Several types of treatments have been developed. The following are just some of the major examples of cancer therapy: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biologic therapy, biorhythms, unconventional treatments, and hyperthermia. Each type of treatment is discussed in detail below.
Surgery is the oldest type of treatment for cancer. In its earlier use, surgery was not as successful as it is today. This was due to the difficulties involved with the anesthesias, excessive blood loss, respiratory distress, and a number of other complications. Tumors were removed, but metastases had formed, and the cancer returned quickly. In modern day surgery, namely laser surgery, these difficulties do not occur as readily. There are four basic ways to use surgery. One way is a diagnostic biopsy. This is a technique that involves removing part of the tumor, in order to test for malignancy. Another technique is surgery that removes the primary tumor. A third technique is removal of lymphatic tumors and metastases, which can help reduce the recurrence of cancer. The fourth technique is a combination of surgeries to detect and treat a malignant or benign tissue mass (1).
Chemotherapy is the treatment of a tumor with chemical agents to reduce mass or eradicate a tumor completely. There are certain mechanisms by which chemotherapy inhibits cancer. The first mechanism is cell death by cytotoxicity. Some chemical agents in certain amounts are toxic to cells. The cells die due to the toxic...
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...ied. This is the reason there is a need for funding for more research: everyone who has cancer deserves to receive all the possible treatments there are for the type of cancer they have.
1. Cancer Treatment. W.B. Saunders Company, USA, 1995. pp 18, 23, 31-32, 51, 305-306.
2. Cytokines in Cancer Therapy. Francis R. Balkwill. Oxford University Press, NY, 1989. pp 1-8.
3. Prospects for Antisense Nucleic Acid Therapy of Cancer and AIDS. Eric Wickstrom, Ed. Wiley-Liss, Inc., NY, 1991. pp 25-33, 35-51, 125-141.
4. Circadian Cancer Therapy. William J. M. Hrushesky, Ed. CRC Press, Inc., MI, 1994. pp 3-9, 279-281.
5. Unconventional Cancer Treatments. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, DC, 1990. pp 11-16.
6. Hyperthermia and Cancer. George M. Hahn. Plenum Press, NY, 1982. pp 1-5, 53, 85, 176-177, 254-256.
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