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Traditional And Natural Cancer Treatment Options, Part 1

Nov 30, 2007
While there's a whole gamut of cancer treatment options available; which is the best one to use depends upon the type of cancer as well the stage that the cancer has reached. Though the prevailing trend is to resort to more traditional cancer treatment options, cancer patients are not restricted to them. There are a variety of alternative and natural options (some new, some old) for treating cancer.

Traditional Cancer Treatment Options

Traditional cancer treatment options are often referred to as cut, poison and burn (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation).

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, which involves the use of chemical agents or drugs to destroy cancerous cells, forms the core treatment of malignancies. These drugs work by targeting fast-growing cells and the type and combination of drugs depends upon the type of cancer. Though chemotherapy has been proven to be effective, it can give rise to a host of side-effects including hair loss, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, anemia or low red blood cell count, neutropenia or low white blood cell count, mouth sores and shortness of breath.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy ionizing radiation from varied sources including x-rays, gamma rays, protons and neutrons to shrink tumors and kill cancerous cells. It is used almost half of all cancer patients; either by itself or in combination with other cancer treatments. External-beam radiation therapy, which involves using radiation that is emitted from a machine outside the body is more common than internal radiation therapy, in which a radioactive material is implanted in the body near the tumor or cancer cells.

Surgery

Surgery often entails a biopsy, which is done for diagnostic purposes. Surgery that is done to remove the cancerous tissues is often followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy, which reduces the risk of the cancer recurring and also to destroy any cancer cells that may be left behind in the affected part of the body.

The kind of surgery depends on which part of the body has been affected by cancer as well as the extent of the cancer. In breast cancer patients the options could include lumpectomy, in which only the lump is removed; segmentectomy, in which part of the breast is removed or mastectomy, in which the entire breast is removed.
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