Essay on Analysis of Treatments for Cancer

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Treatments for Cancer

Cancer is a disease in which cells multiply out of control and gradually build a mass of tissue called a tumor. There has been a large amount of research dedicated to the treatment and cure of cancer. Several types of treatments have been developed. The following are just some of the major examples of cancer therapy: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biologic therapy, biorhythms, unconventional treatments, and hyperthermia. Each type of treatment is discussed in detail below.

Surgery is the oldest type of treatment for cancer. In its earlier use, surgery was not as successful as it is today. This was due to the difficulties involved with the anesthesias, excessive blood loss,
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Therefore, dose and duration of treatment is limited, which in turn limits the amount of normal and tumor cell death. A second mechanism is the suppression of cancer cells for variable periods of time without cell death. This mechanism is referred to as remission. Unfortunately, the cancer can return at any time, and it is sometimes stronger. Here another limitation is introduced. Some tumor cells can develop resistance to a particular chemical agent, or several chemical agents, limiting the types of chemotherapeutic agents available for effective use. The last mechanism is cell differentiation, which helps the immune system learn to recognize and fight tumor cells (1).

Radiation therapy is the ionization of atoms in tissues resulting in formation of highly reactive radicals in a well-defined, restricted volume (1). In other words, ionizing radiations are used to eradicate tumors and at the same time preserve structure and function of normal tissue. A limitation is prevented from being a problem. If bone marrow or neuronal cells are destroyed or injured, they do not regenerate. However, with radiation therapy, these cells are often saved from injury or destruction, unless the tumor is infecting bone marrow or neuronal cells. Today, radiation therapy is the most popular type of cancer therapy in use. It is used to treat one-half to two-thirds of all cancers, which translates to more than ten percent of the population

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