Chemotherapy involves the treatment of cancer with drugs that can destroy cancerous ( malignant) cells. Healthy cells grow and die in a controlled fashion. Cancer causes cells in the body to continuously divide and form more cells at an abnormal and rapid pace.. Anticancer drugs destroy cancer cells by retarding their growth and proliferation. As a side-effect, healthy cells may also be damaged. Healthy cells normally revive after chemotherapy is suspended or stopped.
Chemotherapy is used with the objective of curing the cancer, sometimes in combination with radiotherapy and surgery. A successful cure is achieved in some cases; in others control of the cancer and relief from symptoms is achieved. In advanced cases of cancer, the doctors may only be able to proved palliative medicine, to help the patient better tolerate the symptoms.
Chemotherapy also helps in controlling or destroying cancer if it recurs or spreads to other parts of the body from the original site
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy, x-ray therapy, or irradiation) is a treatment approach that uses radiation to destroy cancer cells. The most commonly used radioactive substances are Cesium (137Cs),Cobalt (60Co) and Iodine (131I) .
Although radiation damages both cancer cells and normal cells, most normal cells can recover from the effects of radiation and function properly. The goal of radiation therapy is to damage as many cancer cells as possible, while limiting harm to nearby healthy tissue. Unfortunately, rapidly dividing healthy cells can also be killed by this process. Skin and hair are some of the tissues affected by radiation treatment, resulting in skin lesions, burning, hair loss,etc
Radiation therapy is used to achieve varying objectives: to shrink a tumor before surgery to remove the cancer, to prevent the recurrence of cancer after surgery, etc.
Radiation is of different types and is delivered in different ways: for deep penetration, for wide area exposure, for focused exposure,etc.
Radiation therapy can be used to treat most solid tumours, including cancers of the brain, breast, cervix, larynx, lung, pancreas, prostate, spine, stomach, uterus, etc. Radiation can also be used to treat leukemia and lymphoma. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical procedure that is used to destroy tumor tissue in the brain. The patient’s head is aligned in a special frame. The precise positioning allows high-dose radiation to be beamed directly at the tumor site in the patient’s head. Precision dosing and targeting help conserve nearby tissues. Stereotactic radiosurgery is mostly used in the treatment of small benign and malignant brain tumors, metastatic brain tumors,etc.
In Stereotactic radiotherapy multiple small fractions of radiation are used as opposed to one large dose. Smaller doses may improve outcomes and minimize side effects. Stereotactic radiotherapy is used to treat tumors in the brain as well as other parts of the body.
Cancer surgery is used to achieve a number of goals: diagnosing cancer, treating it , relieving the symptoms it causes... Cancer surgery may be the prime course of treatment, or it may be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy.
Staging is the process by which a doctor determines how advanced the cancer is by evaluating the the size of the tumour, determining whether it's traveled to other parts of the body,etc.
For many tumors, which are localized, surgery offers the best chance for a cure by excising the affected area in full. When it's not possible to remove all of a cancerous tumour the surgeon may remove as much as possible to make chemotherapy or radiation more effective.
Surgery is sometimes used to relieve pain caused by a tumor that's pressing on a nerve or bone, or one that is obstructing other organs from functioning.