People diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer often lose hope because of the high fatality rate at this stage, but it’s essential to understand all is not lost yet. Advanced melanoma is the last stage of the disease. While curing cancer through surgery is possible in its early stages, advanced cancer requires unique treatment methods that include therapies.
The sad news is that advanced cancer doesn’t have a direct cure. Good cancer hospitals, though, can treat it by managing the symptoms, which will help in at least improving the quality of life. It’s vital for a doctor first to discuss the proceedings of the treatment with the patient. The goal should be crystal clear if you want to relieve the symptoms, treat cancer, or cure it.
While surgeries are beneficial in treating cancer in limited parts of the body, radiation therapies, and chemotherapy helps in relieving symptoms spread around. Here are some treatment options that the best cancer specialists in India suggest if you are diagnosed with advanced cancer:
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Surgery for advanced cancer
While surgery isn’t the most beneficial treatment option in advanced cases, it may help sometimes.
- Surgery to relieve symptoms
Surgery can help improve your quality of life and may even help you live longer, even without curing it. For instance, in cases of bowel blockages due to cancer, surgery can be done to bypass the blockage and help you overcome the painful situation. Best cancer specialists in India may also suggest colostomy where they drain the bowel outside the belly bag.
- Surgery to treat broken bones
If cancer reaches the bones, it can weaken and break them. Surgery can help put a rod in the bones to support the broken as well as weakened bones. Apart from supporting the fractured bone, it will also help prevent the weakened bone from fracturing. It is most common in thigh bones.
- Surgery to stop bleeding
Cancer may cause bleeding in the bowels, respiratory tract, and stomach. Doctors look for the source of bleeding by putting an endoscope through the mouth. Surgery is an excellent option to stop bleeding in such a case.
Doctors may use ablative techniques to treat cancer in the liver, bones, and other areas. In this technique, they put a probe or needle in the tumour and use heat, chemical, or cold substance to destroy it.
Radiofrequency ablation(RFA) is a common type of ablation where the doctor puts an electric current carrying needle in the tumour. Best cancer specialists in India use a CT scan to ensure the needle sets in the right place. The electrical current passed through the needle destroys the tumour while the patient is under anaesthesia.
Using high energy x-rays to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells is called radiation therapy. This method is particularly important in treating advanced-stage cancers spread throughout various areas in the body.
While beam radiations are used in radiation therapy for localised cancer cells, doctors use radiopharmaceutical drugs while carrying out radiation therapy throughout the body. These are a group of drugs containing radioactive materials like Strontium and Radium, which are dissolved in liquids and injected inside the veins. They are quite useful in relieving bone pain and killing cancer cells but don’t cure cancer.
Chemotherapy involves the injection of drugs inside the body to kill cancer cells. These drugs spread throughout the body from the bloodstream and are useful in shrinking widespread cancer. It is majorly used to relieve symptoms and help expand the lifetime of the patient.
Hormones accelerate the growth of many types of cancers, and hormone therapy reduces the formation of hormones in the patient’s body. It is most common in breast cancer and prostate cancer. Estrogen causes breast cancer to grow, and the injection of such drugs lowers the estrogen levels. In the case of prostate cancer, doctors inject medications that lower levels of the male sex hormone androgen to slow the growth of cancer.
Some hospitals also arrange for clinical trials that help doctors to learn better methods to treat different cases of cancer. Since it’s still hard to find a cure for advanced cancer, you must discuss with your doctor to employ techniques that relieve you of the symptoms and help better the quality of the days you will live. It’s essential to have the fighting spirit besides proper treatment to help you overcome cancer.