Treatments

Treatment Options

Depending on a patient’s severity and stage of cancer, as well as age and general health, the doctor will tailor a treatment plan to control and manage symptoms. Treatment plans may include one or a combination of the below treatments:

Chemotherapy

It’s a drug treatment – used for fast growing cells. It can be used in these situations:

  • Before commencing on other types of treatment, so that the tumour can be shrunk first
  • During treatment such as chemo-radiation to improve the effectiveness of radiotherapy
  • After initial treatment of cancer to suppress secondary tumour formation 
  • For palliative purposes, to preserve quality of life 

IMMUNOTHERAPY

Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight cancer. This works in two ways, one of which is to stimulate the immune system to attack the disease at a cellular level.

The second way immunotherapy works is by providing the body with immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins. The advent of technology, especially in the area of cancer treatment, has allowed for the advancement of immunotherapy where drugs can specifically target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells undamaged.

Immunotherapy drugs are used to treat a wide variety of cancers, including lung, melanoma, head and neck, gastrointestinal, breast, kidney, bladder and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

TARGETED THERAPY

This type of treatment is used to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming healthy cells. It works by targeting specific cancer genes, proteins or tissue that contribute to cell growth. There are several types of targeted therapies, including:  
  • Monoclonal Antibodies, which target specific cells while blocking areas outside of the cells. They are usually administered intravenously.
  • Small Molecue Drugs that can block the process by which cancer cells multiply and spread. These drugs can be ingested as they are usually in the form of pills.

Hormone Therapy

Some hormones can cause or accelerate cancer growth, and this form of therapy removes the hormones to stop the growth of cancer cells. It is most commonly used to fight prostate and breast cancers, and can be administered orally, or through injections, or surgery, where organs that produce hormones are removed.