Getting diagnosed with cancer is obviously a traumatic time. But with the right cancer treatment and medical care, it might be possible to beat this deadly disease back and move on with your life. Depending on your specific type of cancer, a wide variety of cancer treatment options might be available. The best advice is to listen closely to your doctors but in general, here are some of the major differences between three of the most popular cancer treatment options that you'll want to take into consideration.
Cancer surgery can technically mean a number of different things, but when talking about cancer treatment, it usually refers to attempting to physically remove the cancer from the body. This procedure works best when the cancer has been found in only one part of the body and it is likely that all of it can be removed. This curative or removal-focused surgery might also be used in conjunction with another treatment option such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy in order to ensure that the cancer will not grow back after removal.
Chemotherapy is technically using drugs to treat any disease but the term is most commonly associated with cancer patients. Sometimes called "chemo" for short, the primary benefit of chemotherapy is that it can attempt to treat cancer cells that are located throughout the body. Whereas removal surgery and radiation therapy tend to target a specific location, chemotherapy can help tackle and destroy cancer cells that have spread or metastasized away from the original source or tumor. Chemotherapy might also be used as a safeguard against the cancer's return after it has been destroyed using surgery or radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy is the type of cancer treatment that many people think of when they think of potential cures for cancer. It involves using high-energy waves or particles such as x-rays or electron beams to directly destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy works best when all of the cancer is located in one specific area of the body. There are different ways to deliver the radiation, but the end result of all options is that the radiation waves or particles are directly beamed down into the source of the cancer, hopefully eradicating the cancer cells.
Getting diagnosed with cancer is tough, but with the right treatment plan, it's possible to beat back your diagnosis and move on with your life. Depending on where your cancer is located and whether or not it has spread, your doctors might recommend surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or some combination of all three. For more cancer treatment options, take a look at Cancer.org or reach out to a doctor at a clinic like Southwest Oncology Centers today.