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Five Cancer Therapies Other Than Chemotherapy

What terms come to mind when you think of cancer? Most likely, “chemotherapy” is the first word that springs to mind. However, chemotherapy is not always the first line of treatment.

“A cancer diagnosis does not have to entail chemotherapy — and the nausea, vomiting, and hair loss that most people associate with it”

In fact, chemotherapy often takes a back position to treatments with potentially less severe side effects. As a result of new treatments and advancements in personalized care, oncologists are now better able to tailor cancer treatment to each patient’s specific cancer type.

Procedure 1: Surgical

Aside from blood cancers, surgery is an alternative for the majority of cancers. Specialized cancer surgeons attempting to remove all or the majority of a solid tumor. It is an effective treatment for malignancies in their early stages that have not spread to other parts of the body.

“Although it depends on the size of the tumor and other factors, many patients with stage 1 cancer require only surgery,”

Even when a tumor has spread beyond its original site, surgery can play a role in cancer treatment.

“Our options for treating cancer — even at later stages — have expanded, and surgery plays a significant role in this,” the role of surgery has grown, and this is very encouraging.

Depending on the type and stage of cancer, minimally invasive surgery may be a viable treatment option. To remove early-stage lung cancer tumors, for instance, thoracic surgeons frequently use video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), a minimally invasive procedure. VATS utilizes smaller incisions than open surgery and offers patients typically less discomfort, shorter hospital stays, and fewer complications.


Immuno therapy is a relatively new form of cancer treatment that employs drugs to stimulate the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy treatments are applicable to a variety of cancer types and may be effective even against the most advanced and difficult-to-treat malignancies.

Researchers continue to investigate the potential of immunotherapy, but a number of effective, FDA-approved medicines are currently used to treat a varieaty of cancers.

“Immunotherapy has unquestionably expanded the treatment options for a great number of patients, and it is now the treatment of choice for some patients,” Batus says. “Patients do not experience hair loss. They have neither nausea nor regurgitation. They experience minimal adverse effects, if any, the majority of the time.”

Depending on the administered substance and the type of cancer being treated, however, some patients may experience side effects.

Immunotherapies are given via intravenous infusion.

Immunotherapy provides some patients with late-stage cancers with a treatment option they previously lacked, enabling them to sometimes survive longer than they would have otherwise been expected to. For instance, immunotherapy has transformed how physicians treat melanoma.The most lethal and hazardous form of skin cancer.

A person diagnosed with metastatic melanoma (cancer that has spread to other portions of the body) had an approximate nine-month survival rate five years ago. Currently, due to combination immunotherapies, the majority of patients with metastatic melanoma are alive and thriving at least one year later, with many surviving for many years beyond that.

3.Targeted treatments

Oncologists use targeted therapies, also known as precision medicine.To personalize cancer treatments for each patient. A genetic profile is identified from a tumor or blood sample. This enables clinicians to administer medication that specifically targets the cancer-causing genes.

“There could be five or six gene processes that turn a cancer on or off,” Through genetic testing, we can determine which medications to use and which to avoid.

Medications administered orally or intravenously either eliminate cancer cells or halt their growth. Targeted therapies, like immunotherapy, can be used at any stage: as an initial treatment, to prevent cancer recurrence, or if a cancer returns.

Patients with breast cancer are typically screened to determine if they contain the HER2 gene, which can contribute to the growth of breast cancer cells. If a patient tests positive for HER2, oncologists use a targeted medication or combination of targeted medications, such as trastuzumab or pertuzumab. Typically, these medications inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

Most people no longer associate a cancer diagnosis with chemo and the associated nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.

4.Active surveillance

For some forms of cancer, active surveillance (also known as watchful waiting) may be all that is required. If the cancer is in its early stages and growing slowly or not at all, your doctor may recommend this treatment.

For prostate cancer, which tends to grow very slowly, physicians frequently recommend active surveillance. Blood assays are used to monitor the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and symptoms of patients. If or when symptoms worsen or tests indicate that the malignancy is growing at a faster rate, they begin to discuss additional treatments.

“Frequently, patients receiving active surveillance have no symptoms and continue their normal lives,”

Patients who desire a break from treatment adverse effects or who have exhausted all other treatment options may also consider surveillance.

5.Supportive treatment

Supportive cancer care can be an effective supplement to standard treatment, reducing the physical and emotional burden associated with cancer treatment.

Psychotherapy and massage therapy.Alleviate patients’ anxiety as they adjust to a diagnosis; acupuncture can be beneficial for pain alleviation.Nutrition counseling can prevent a patient from losing too much weight during treatment and maintain their body’s optimal health.

Other forms of complementary and alternative medicine include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • • Exercise classes
  • • Hypnosis
  • • Meditation on mindfulness

“Anything that can be done to maintain a patient’s mental and physical health while they cope with the burden of having cancer is beneficial.

“This is just one of the growing number of instruments we have to assist our cancer patients.


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