Treatment of Cancer
Cancer Treatment: A Comprehensive Approach
Cancers are a collection of illnesses characterized by uncontrolled cell growth and proliferation. About 10 million people die from cancer each year. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the developed world. Care of cancer includes several elements, including staging and diagnosis, treatment, complications management, and supportive services.
Cancer: Diagnosis, Staging and Prognosis
Cancer is diagnosed by combining a medical history with a physical exam and several diagnostic tests. Imaging tests, lab tests and biopsy are the most common cancer diagnostic tests. Imaging tests such as X rays CT scans MRI and PET scans allow doctors to see the organs and tissue inside and detect any abnormalities. Blood tests and other laboratory tests can be used to assess the health of a patient. The biopsy involves taking a small sample of the tissue and looking at it under a microscopical microscope in order to detect cancerous cells.
Cancer staging is the process used to determine the spread and extent of the cancer. It helps the doctor to assess and develop a treatment plan. The cancer staging system is determined by a number of factors. These include the size and extent of the tumour, its invasion of surrounding tissue, as well as the presence of cancerous cells within nearby lymph nodes, or in other areas of the body. TNM is the most widely used system for cancer staging. It categorizes the cancer in four different stages (I, I, II, III and IV) based on tumor size, lymph node involvement and distant metastases.
The Side Effects and Complications from Cancer Treatment
Both physical and mental complications can arise from cancer and its treatment. Cancer can cause pain, nausea, or fatigue. These are the three most common physical side effects. Cancer can cause pain, which is both a symptom and a treatment. Cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy side effects, or other factors can cause this common cancer complication. The side effects of radiation and chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can be controlled with antiemetic medication.
The treatment of cancer can have several side effects on the mind, such as anxiety, depression and cognitive impairment. Anxiety and depression are common among cancer patients and can be caused by the fear of recurrence, the loss of control over one’s life, and the side effects of treatments. Cognitive dysfunction, also known as “chemo brain,” refers to the cognitive changes that can occur during cancer treatment, such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and mental fogginess.
How to Reduce Physical and Mental Effects
There are several ways to reduce the psychological and physical effects of cancer treatment and diagnosis. Pain and fatigue can be controlled with medication, physical therapy and complementary therapies such as yoga, massage and acupuncture. Dietary interventions like dietary counselling and nutritional supplements can help alleviate fatigue related to cancer.
Cognitive-behavioral treatment, relaxation techniques, support groups, and other interventions are all effective ways to manage the psychological effects of anxiety and depression. These symptoms can be managed with medications, including antidepressants, anxiolytics and relaxation techniques. Cognitive rehabilitation can help manage cognitive dysfunction, including memory exercises and brain training.
Cancer care cannot be done without supportive care. Supportive care is provided by a team of multidisciplinary professionals including social workers and nurses who offer care and support for cancer patients.