Discover the various types of cancer treatment: how they work, the precautions to take and the associated side effects.
Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, that is to say, it can reach all parts of the body and destroy cancer cells, even microscopic ones, wherever it finds them. It uses drugs designed to prevent cancer cells from multiplying and destroying those already present in the body.
Radiation therapy involves the use of X-rays, gamma rays, electrons and other forms of high-energy radiation. The treatment is painless and does not last long, from one to five minutes. In fact, the waiting and preparation phases often take longer than the treatment itself, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Immunotherapy is a treatment or intervention designed to help the body’s immune system fight cancer. It does not directly attack cancer cells but focuses instead on helping other cells – called immune cells – detect and destroy cancer cells.
Hormone therapy is a treatment that changes the level of hormones in the body. Hormones are chemical substances that act on the development of our cells.
Surgical oncology is the branch of surgery concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It is the oldest form of cancer treatment.
Cancer treatments are often accompanied by side effects, which manifest as symptoms of physical, and even psychological discomfort. Although usually transitory, they can vary depending on the treatment in question and the sensitivity of each individual.
While cancer treatments are essential to allow the patient to confront this health challenge, they can unfortunately result in a weakened immune system. Certain precautions need to be taken to protect the person with cancer.