A cancer patient will be taken through the options for cancer treatments, and will be helped through understanding the side effects which vary from person to person. A cancer patient may undergo one or several treatment therapies aimed at the cancer or at alleviating the symptoms of cancer. At The Oncology Practice, each individual will be provided with personalised consultation, advice and care in our clinic.
After a cancer diagnosis, many patients feel anxiety, loss of control and confusion. People with cancer, and their family members will have to make a number of decisions involving treatment and care during the journey. Dr Kho and her team of nurses will take you through your options and will help to ease the anxiety by taking the time to go through with you the unfamiliar words, statistics and side effects of each anti cancer treatment options. Take your time to research your questions, ask questions and talk with your medical oncologist and oncologist nurses to understand and navigate your options.
Chemotherapy is an anti-cancer drug treatment. Chemotherapy may be delivered by mouth, injection or infusion, or on the skin; depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. Chemotherapy drugs are used as a direct form of attack on rapidly-dividing cancer cells, and this could affect the healthy cells as well. When patients respond to treatment, the effects happen quickly but only for as long as the Chemotherapy treatment is given. Chemotherapy may be given alone, or in a combination of other treatments such as Immunotherapy or Biological Therapy.
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 is a type of cancer treatment that targets the changes in cancer cells to avoid them growing, dividing and spreading. Part of precision medicine, medical advances allow the production of drugs that specifically block the growth and spread of cancer by attacking the specific molecules that aid the growth and spread of cancerous cells. Targeting therapy is also known as molecularly targeted drugs, or molecularly targeted therapies. Targeted therapy is similar to Chemotherapy as they both use drugs to interrupt the spread of cancer, however they are different from each other due to the ability of the drug to specifically target a certain type of cancerous cells only.
This refers to tests involving a sample of the tumour or blood, which identify alterations or changes in genes encoding cellular signaling molecules that may result in cancers. Such insights into a patient’s genomic profile can aid in clinical decision making and tailoring treatments to improve efficacy and outcome. For example, some lung cancers have a mutation in a gene called EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) and if these patients are treated with an anti-EGFR targeted therapy, the chances of response are high. Some tests may help in prognostication while others are used to identify hereditary cancers.
Hormone therapy is a treatment that slows or stops the growth of cancer that uses hormones to grow, such as prostate or breast cancers. Hormone therapy is also called hormonal therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy. Hormonal therapy can be given by mouth or injection or via surgery.
Screening refers to performing investigations in patients who are well with no symptoms in the hope of detecting curable early cancers. Cancers that can be effectively screened for are: