Radiation & chemotherapy – Not only methods for treating cancer

Chemotherapy and radiation are not the only techniques to deal with cancer | Expert talks with the Best Oncologists in Vadodara to learn about new advancements

First things first. Can we eat to starve cancer? YES! As an oncologist in Vadodara, we can tell you that if you eat plant-based whole foods then it is beneficial to your body and prevents cancer.

You will be surprised to know that as many as 40% of cancer cases can be avoided if we change some lifestyle factors. This includes eating whole plant-based foods, quitting tobacco, quitting smoking and heavy drinking. A half-hour moderate exercise with a perfect body mass index can work wonders for you and prevent cancer in the long run.

We have already covered in detail how cancer is caused, here I wish to discuss treatment for cancer in detail. I know many of you might be aware of chemotherapy and medicines. I will discuss it in detail in a subsequent write-up. Here I wish to make you aware about angiogenesis inhibitors can be used to treat cancer.

A few days back we had a patient education at our hospital and here are some excerpts from the session that will be helpful to you. If you have any questions, you are free to ask them in the comments section and we’ll be happy to reply.

1. Does cancer have a cure?

Yes and No. Well, why I am saying both yes and no because it depends on the stage of cancer and the type of cancer. If it has widely spread inside your body then it is difficult to control whereas if it is just the beginning then we can treat you in a better way.

Please excuse me for using I and we alternatively, because although I work as an oncologist in Vadodara, we are a team of doctors at Janvi Multispeciality hospital to take care of cancer patients.

2. What are the various forms of treatment options available to treat cancer?

There are many other treatments for cancer like

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Cryoablation

3. How do all the above therapies help to cope with cancer?

Well, different lines of treatment can be used depending on how far cancer has spread and which body parts are affected. I’ll try to explain them in brief.

Surgery:

Various types of surgeries can be carried on to remove cancer.

Surgeries to perform biopsy:

A biopsy is the surgical removal of tissue to check the presence of cancerous cells.

Surgery to detect the stage of cancer:

As the name suggests, this surgery is performed to judge how far cancer has spread in
the body. Accordingly, the further line of treatment is decided.

Curative surgery:

If we feel that cancer has not widely spread in the body but is confined to a specific part
then surgery can be done to remove a specific body part and get rid of the cancerous
organ.

Surgery to debulk cancer:

If the best oncologists think that by removing the organ some part of the cancer can be removed but the other part will stay in the body then surgery is conducted to remove the part partially.

Such things happen if the organ is very crucial or is passing nearby a very important nerve which makes it difficult to operate. In such cases, other approaches like radiation are applied after surgery to the affected area.

Palliative surgery

When cancer is in an advanced stage and it is causing pain or obstructing certain organs then such surgery is done to restore comfort. It cannot cure cancer.

Supportive surgeries:

As the best oncologists in vadodara, we know how painful the procedure for cancer is! To minimize the pain we do preventive surgeries, in which catchers are placed inside the body to inject the material so that there is no need to prick the patient again and again.

Reconstructive Surgery:

Many times after a surgery certain implants need to be removed from the body. Reconstructive surgery is done to make you feel and look better after surgery.

Preventive surgery:

As the best oncologists in vadodara, if we feel that there is a strong possibility of cancer in future in a particular organ then it is removed surgically to prevent cancer.

Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat cancer. It can be classified into three parts depending on the type of goal it meets.

Curative:

In this type of chemotherapy, as the best oncologists in vadodara, we try to destroy the cancerous cells. Although it is impossible to say whether a patient is cured of cancer or not. Because even if a single infected cell remains in the body, it can multiply itself to cause cancer again.

Chemo for controlling the spread of cancer:

If we feel that is not possible to cure the body through chemotherapy then we try to control its spread.

Palliation:

In case a person has last-stage cancer then it is impossible to save him/her. In such cases, palliative chemotherapy is given to restore quality of life and reduce pain. It does not cure cancer.

Radiation Therapy:

As oncologists in vadodara, we often try to adopt this approach wherever possible. This is because this therapy targets cancerous cells particularly and does not affect healthy cells.

While chemotherapy destroys the cancerous cells that are already present in the body, targeted cancer treatment helps to stop the creation of new cancerous cells.

The results we can obtain from targetted therapy include:

  • Blocking chemical signals to the cancerous cells
  • Changing the protein structure of cancer cells so that they die
  • Stop creating new blood vessels to feed cancerous cells
  • Trigger the immune system to kill cancerous cells
  • Carry toxins to cancer cells to kill them.

Our body constantly makes new blood vessels. Technically this is called angiogenesis. Targetted treatment aims at angiogenesis inhibitors. Angiogenesis inhibitors help to restrict the formation of new blood vessels that feed cancerous cells. Thereby the cancerous cells die or are starved due to the absence of food and this helps a person to get rid of cancerous cells.

Techniques To Deal Wiith Cancer

Till now, The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following inhibitors to treat cancer.

  • Axitinib (Inlyta®)
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin®)
  • Cabozantinib (Cometriq®)
  • Everolimus (Afinitor®)
  • Lenalidomide (Revlimid®)
  • Lenvatinib mesylate (Lenvima®)
  • Pazopanib (Votrient®)
  • Ramucirumab (Cyramza®)
  • Regorafenib (Stivarga®)
  • Sorafenib (Nexavar®)
  • Sunitinib (Sutent®)
  • Thalidomide (Synovir, Thalomid®)
  • Vandetanib (Caprelsa®)
  • Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap®)

Immunotherapy

As oncologists in vadodara, wherever possible, we refer this treatment to our patients. It is safe and does not destroy healthy cells. It trains your immune system to attack cancerous cells.

Hormone Therapy:

Some hormones help cancer to grow. Cancers like prostate cancer and breast cancer are triggered by hormones. It finds the target hormones and:

  • Stops the body from making that particular hormone
  • Blocks the hormones from attaching to cancer cells
  • Alters the hormones

Bone Marrow Transplant:

As a cancer specialist, I feel that people are aware of stem cells and bone marrow transplants. That’s the reason why parents preserve the umbilical cord and cord blood of the baby after it is born.

The bone marrow which is inside our cells can be used to treat cancer. Due to radiation and chemotherapy, our cells are harmed. Due to this, they are not able to multiply on their own to create new blood cells.

Transplanting stem cells and bone marrow gives them a boost to create new healthy cells.

Cryoablation:

While radiation therapy uses radiation to destroy cancer cells, cryoablation uses freezing as a technique to destroy cancerous cells.

What particularly happens in this technique is that a thin needle is inserted into the cancerous tumour. This needle is called a cryoprobe. Later we pump the gas into the cryoprobe to freeze the tissue. After the tissue is frozen, it is allowed to thaw. This process of freezing and thawing kills cancer cells.

Which among the above is the best cancer treatment?

There is no standard procedure that can be applied to all patients. As a cancer specialist in vadodara, I feel that patient’s physical and emotional condition is much important while treating the patient.

After explaining the pros and cons of each treatment explaining how the body will respond to each treatment, and the side effects of each treatment of each process, we decide the line of treatment.

As a cancer specialist in vadodara, I can understand how hopeless you feel after hearing the name of cancer. But remember that with the progress of science, we are in a better position to deal with it. The faster it is diagnosed, the more the chances of getting cured from it. Wishing you health and happiness. For any consultations, you can visit our hospital.

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