When you hear the word “cancer,” do you imagine painless, effective cures? If not, you should. Thanks to modern breakthroughs in science, survivors are finding new alternatives to the old way of surviving with cancer.
New forms of primary treatment are improving cancer treatment while reducing side effects. These new treatments are offering patients new hope.
Read on to learn about these new lifechanging methods for cancer treatment.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
When doctors discover a cancerous growth, they usually remove it with open surgery. However, cutting a patient open can lead to long hospital stays and complications.
In video-assisted surgery, doctors insert a tiny camera and surgical instruments through a small cut in the patient’s skin. Then they use these to slice up and remove tumors. This minimally invasive surgery leads to faster recovery time and has far fewer side effects than open surgery.
Immunotherapy With Checkpoint Inhibitors
Immunotherapy uses medications to boost the patient’s immune system. Normally, the immune system is held back by checkpoint inhibitors. Immunotherapy medications remove these inhibitors, allowing the patient’s T-cells to fight the cancer cells.
Immunotherapy has far fewer side effects than radiation or chemotherapy. They can be used to destroy cancer cells, keep cancer from growing, or to keep cancer from returning once eradicated.
In a different type of immunotherapy, researchers use the patient’s own T-cells to attack cancer. This treatment is called chimeric antigen receptor therapy, or CAR T-cell therapy.
In CAR T-cell therapy, doctors collect a patient’s T-cells. Then they modify them to locate certain proteins found on tumor cells. The T cells are injected back into the body, where they recognize and kill cancer cells.
To learn more about this promising treatment, read on here.
Cancer begins when abnormal cells develop and start growing uncontrollably until they infiltrate and destroy normal tissue.
Research into epigenetic treatment explores how to turn off those abnormalities. Instead of destroying the cells, new drugs target the enzymes which control a cell’s genetic programming and work to remove the signals which make cancer grow.
Radiation has been used to cure cancer for over a century. But, while it can destroy cancer cells, it also destroys the surrounding tissue. This is one reason cancer patients lose hair near an area that has been irradiated.
In a new type of radiation treatment being developed at Stanford University, a scanner tracks the tumor in order to aim radiation more precisely. The scanner follows the tumor even when the patient is breathing! Since the radiation doesn’t affect healthy tissue, doctors can use it in higher doses.
Primary Treatment Options
All of these new options for the primary treatment of cancer open up ways to cancer and prevent side effects. Patients will no longer have to endure the hardships of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. They won’t even have to lose their hair.
Soon, cancer will no longer be terminal. Instead, it will be a completely curable disease.
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