adiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) utilizes the use of high energy beams to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often used before and after surgery in conjunction with chemotherapy.
A high powered beam of energy is focused on the part of the body where cancer growth has occurred. This is an external procedure, and is often utilized prior to surgery to help shrink cancer cells, tumors and growths. For cases where bone cancer can't be removed through surgical procedures, radiation therapy is often used to help control and reduce symptoms such as pain and spread of the cancerous tissue.
Common Methods of Radiation Therapy
Targeted drugs are designed to attack specific abnormalities or malformations found in cancer cells. The most common drug therapy uses Tarceva (generic term erlotinib), designed to block cell signals to grow and divide. Another drug currently involved in clinical trials is Erbitux (generic term cetuximab).
X-rays with high-energy are used to kill off cancer cells using this method. However, advancements in chemotherapy make that a preferred and most effective option. Radiation therapy is still beneficial for women, especially for those who have the cancer in a certain area or those who are unable to complete a chemotherapy treatment. Radiation therapy is also ideal for those cancers centralized in the abdomen, as well as those who have a recurring case of ovarian cancer.
Radiation therapy is often utilized in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or surgery. One form of chemotherapy is through a pill or liquid that can be taken at home according to doctor's orders. Chemotherapy treatments may also be given intravenously, most often at a clinic, hospital or doctor's office.
It is possible to obtain such treatments at home if arrangements are made through your personal health care provider. Many patients who undergo chemotherapy use the most common procedure, which is by way of an intravenous injection, or IV. This form of chemo is applied directly into the veins through a catheter or needle and will be performed and supervised by a health professional.
Surgery is often employed to remove cancerous tumors as well as affected tissues in the body. Surgical procedures may be used to treat cancers in the colon, liver, lungs, brain and other body organs. A surgeon may decide to use a combination or all three of the common procedures in the treatment of bone cancer, as well as other medications to kill cancerous cell growth.
For example, common bladder cancer therapies and treatment include:
Cost for radiation therapy may depend on where the cancer is located, what process is used to treat it, and how many "sessions" you need. For example, a woman diagnosed with endometrial cancer requiring a 5-day a week, 5-week long radiation therapy process may pay roughly $60,000 in the U.S. A man seeking treatment for prostate cancer may have to pay around $15,000.
However, countries such as India offer various therapies like radiation or surgery for approximately $800-$5,600 for a course of treatment, depending again on location and severity of cancer or stage it is in when diagnosed.
When looking for a doctor to help treat cancer, patients should look for cancer specialists. These specialists are trained in the field of oncology. Patients should look for experience, training, and that the specialist of their choice has been board-certified in specific areas of medicine. The physician who is board-certified in medical oncology or surgery will ensure their qualifications in their field.
It's important to find a doctor who specializes in the type of cancer you've been diagnosed with. Such specialists are known as oncologists. Make sure doctors, surgeons and oncologists are certified and experienced in their field, and that facilities are accredited, regardless of country of origin.
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