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Treatment Of Cancer

 

Three general kinds of treatment are used in dealing with cancer today. Surgery and radiation may affect a complete cure if the entire cancer can be removed or destroyed. Drugs are effecting in arresting certain kinds of cancer, although they do not care the condition. After a time, cancer resists drugs and the condition progress further.

Surgical treatment of cancer is improving constantly. Newer anesthetics permit more lengthy and extensive operations without danger to the patient. This allows the surgeon to remove more extensive cancers which, a few years ago, would have been inoperable. Transfusions are more easily provided before, during, and after cancer surgery. Antibiotics are also available for dealing with problems of infection.

Six out ten cancer patients receive radiation treatments today. Newer multimillion volt –ray machines send penetrating rays to the deepest tissues to reach a cancerous growth. Improvement in the control of X rays allows lethal doses to be concentrated on a cancer with minimum damage to adjacent normal tissue. Various radioactive isotopes, including radium, cobalt, cesium, gold, phosphorus and iodine, are used to bombard cancer cells with lethal radiations. These radioactive materials may be placed on the body or inserted into the body at a cancer site. In some cases, they are delivered to the cancer site in the bloodstream.

 

A new development in cancer treatment is the proton therapy, which is a form of advanced therapy. The therapy is still to be known worldwide. In this therapy proton beams are to be deposited in the target area and significantly reduce normal tissue exposure to excess radiation. 

Many thousands of anticancer drugs are being tested in research laboratories each year. Test subjects may be cancer cells in test tubes or animals with experimentally induced cancer. Among these drugs are hormones, which retard certain kinds of cancer, including breast cancer and cancer of the prostrate. Cell poisons, including nitrogen mustard, are used against lung cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and other forms of cancer with temporary success. Another group of drugs, classified as antimetabolites starve cancer cells by interfering with their life processes. Among these is a group of drugs called antifolics, which are related to the vitamin B-12 complex, folic acid. Certain antibiotics, including azaserne and actinomycin D are among the newest anticancer drugs.

Anticancer drugs may cause damage to normal cells. Damage to white corpuscles, bone marrow, and cells forming the lining of the digestive organs may occur as a result of their use. On the other hand, drugs offer the only hope for treating cancer, which has advanced beyond treatment by surgery or radiation. Even though these drugs do not cure cancer, they are of great value if they retard a cancerous growth temporarily, relieve pain, and prolong life.

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