Do You Have a Cancer Treatment Plan in Place?
An estimated 1,658,370 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year. Few of them will know what to do when they receive the news from their doctor. Most people don’t believe they will ever have cancer, even if they have a family history or know they are otherwise at risk.
Following diagnosis and appointments with an oncologist, a physician specializing in cancer, a treatment plan will be created. Here are common steps you might find in that plan:
Does Your Cancer Require Surgery?
Cancers involving a tumor often have a good post-surgical prognosis. These can include various types of skin cancer, brain tumors, breast cancer, and so forth to name a few common types. Most blood and bone cancers do not involve tumors and are less like to involve surgery. Even cancers affecting the bones may require biopsies in order to understand the cancer fully.
Would You Benefit from Radiation and/or Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy and radiation are two of the most common treatments for cancer. The former uses a combination of cancer-fighting drugs, often tailored to a specific patient’s need and cancer-type to get the best results. This is frequently combined with radiation therapy to slow cancer growth or help kill any cancerous cells remaining after surgery. Both therapies demonstrate good results; however, many people find the side-effects difficult to manage, especially the fatigue and nausea.
Modern oncology has improved substantially in terms of managing these effects, including the use of holistic and herbal medicine to reduce the unpleasantness of chemotherapy. Patients should discuss these options with the doctor during appointments to learn more.
What is an Aggressive Treatment Plan?
An aggressive treatment plan is one that strives to use all possible means to fight a cancer that is likely fast-growing or more serious than average. Treatments here often sacrifice the short-term comfort or health of the patient to achieve the long-term goal of remission. If a person is in remission, they no longer have cancer, but they may present a higher risk of cancer returning in the future, usually five years or longer from now. The advantage of an aggressive treatment plan is that they often have positive outcomes, despite the temporary, often severe discomfort involved.
Surviving cancer is more possible now than it has ever been before. With the variety of treatment options available and using sound planning strategies, it’s highly likely that you or someone you know has their own survival story to share.