Treatment for cancer & Cancer care involves the use of surgery, therapy, drugs, and other treatments to kill cancer, reduce cancer, or avoid cancer progression.
There are several cancer therapies. You may get one treatment, or you may get a variety of treatments, depending on your specific situation.
Why it’s done
The aim of treating cancer is to find a cure for cancer, allowing you to live a normal life span. Depending on the particular situation this may or may not be possible. If a cure is not available, the medications can be used to reduce cancer or delay your cancer growth to allow you to live as long as possible without the symptoms.
Cancer treatments may be used as:
- Primary Therapy.
- Adjuvant treatment.
- Neoadjuvant therapy
- Palliative treatment :
What you can expect
There are several cancer therapies. Your treatment choices can depend on a variety of variables, such as your cancer form and stage, your overall health and your preferences. You and your cancer hospital should assess the benefits and risks of each cancer treatment together to determine which would be best for you.
Cancer treatment options include:
- Radiation treatment.
- Transplant bone marrow.
- Hormone care.
- Targeted drug therapy.
- Cryotherapy or Cryoablation.
- Radiofrequency ablation.
- Clinical trials.
Other treatments may be available to you, depending on your type of cancer.
Cancer care: Pre-Treatment:
If you just found out you need cancer treatment, there are ways to prepare yourself. Being ready will help you overcome the uncertainty and anxiety that so often goes along with starting treatment.
Here are five things you should do to help with your treatment:
1. Ask your doctor what the best and worst-case scenarios are.
Whether you’re facing chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, you need to know what to expect. Many people go into cancer treatment without knowing the possibilities. Then if a worst-case scenario happens, it catches them off guard. The most important way a physician can help you prepare for treatment is to clearly set expectations of the possible good and bad outcomes.
2. Educate yourself.
There are a lot of good resources there that will help you prepare:
Look for sites that are specific to your type of cancer. For those with kidney cancer, for instance, the Kidney Cancer Association can educate and prepare you for the first step for treatment of kidney cancer.
3. Be proactive.
Provide all of your physicians with documentation about your conditions. Don’t assume they have everything. Think of it as you would a financial adviser — you’re paying him or her as the expert in how to handle your investments, but the money is yours and you’re the boss.
4. Follow up.
Don’t assume that a test result is normal just because you didn’t hear anything about it.
5. Reach out for support.
Use online information only as a starting point. None of the information you find online is a substitute for a face-to-face discussion with a physician.
There are plenty of off-line resources and other options as well:
- Talk to other patients.
- Find support groups for your type of cancer.
- Get a second opinion.
Cancer Care: Post/During the treatment
1. Get to a healthy weight, and maintain it.
Avoid weight gain during treatment for cancer, whether you are at a good weight or overweight.
If you are overweight or obese, discuss safely losing weight with your cancer care provider after you recover from treatment.
2. Physical activity.
Studies indicate that exercise during cancer treatment is relatively healthy and can improve many aspects of health including muscle strength, balance, exhaustion and depression. Speak to your doctor about what will be best for you.
Physical activity after diagnosis is linked to living longer and a reduced risk of cancer returning among people living with breast, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancer – among other forms of the disease.
3. Eat a balanced diet
The most health benefits are associated with a diet high in fruit, vegetables , whole grains, poultry , and fish, and low in refined grains, red meat (beef, pork , and lamb) and processed meat (hot dogs, ham , bacon, sausage, and some deli meats), sweets, high fat dairy products, and fried foods.
Studies have so far failed to prove that taking vitamins, herbs and other dietary supplements will help patients with cancer live longer. Some can also make life shorter. Discuss this with your health cancer care provider before taking any supplements.
4. Have cancer screenings recommended to you
Survivors of cancer should go on any follow-up appointments suggested by their cancer care team to ensure that the cancer has not returned.
Survivors will get additional cancers, too. Unless your cancer care professional advises you otherwise, follow the same test schedule for your age and gender as for the general population.
5. Create a survivorship care plan.
Press the cancer care team to provide you with a comprehensive record of the procedures and any follow-up they prescribe.
Understand which physician should be in charge of cancer-related and other medical treatment – oncologist, primary cancer care doctor or another specialist. If you don’t know, inquire.
6. Take care of your emotional health.
Spend time with family and friends, and doing things you like.
Focus on your spiritual side, artistic side, whether that means participating in organized religion, communing with nature, meditating, creating art, or whatever speaks to you.
Join a support group in your local area or online (such as Cancer Survivors Network) or speak to a mental health care professional.
What to eat/nutritional tips
Cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation do a fantastic job of destroying cancer cells, but what happens when your appetite is also killed?
To make cancer care as successful as possible, patients should make every effort to control their weight, but this is hard to do because many side effects of medication have a detrimental impact on the willingness and motivation to eat patients.
Luckily, patients may use many methods to continue eating well during treatment.
1. Loss Of Appetite
In most cases , it is important that cancer patients eat as much as possible, even though their appetite has shifted, to preserve their body weight throughout the treatment. If this side effect is encountered Siu says patients should:
- They always eat small meals.
- Keep snacks ready any time hunger hits.
- Limit drinks before and after meals, so that you fill up the food you consume and not the liquids you drink.
- Pick choices that contain a decent amount of calories and other nutrients while drinking liquids. Protein shakes are a decent choice here.
- Choose foods that are high in calories and high in protein.
- Enjoy bigger meals whenever you feel right up to them.
2. Changes in taste
Chemotherapy affects the taste buds, causing certain patients to notice red meat having a salty or metallic flavor. Others can lose all taste.
When you consume red meat, you find an unpleasant flavour:
- Eat white meats, such as turkey and chicken.
- Bring in other proteins such as eggs, tofu and beans.
If you‘re experiencing a loss of taste:
- Marinate foods before cooking them.
- Season foods with tart fruits like lemon and lime, along with herbs and spices.
- Try sweet foods to counteract bitter, salty or acidic tastes.
3. Sensitivity To Smell
The very scent of certain foods can cause patients to become sick to their stomachs during treatment. When aversion to smell plagues you:
To make the smells more tolerable, eat foods cold or at room temperature.
Keep the windows open and use the fans to keep air circulating in the dining areas where possible.
A nausea is one of the most daunting side effects affecting cancer patients. Holding weight on while in recovery is vital, but that is difficult when you’re nauseated by the thought of eating.
To treat this side effect, your doctor can prescribe nausea medications, but there are also changes that you may make to your diet:
- Start with the soda, broth, ginger ale or other clear liquids when having this symptom.
- Pick simple foods such as pasta, crackers and fruits when you feel up to eating.
- Keep four to six small meals a day, and avoid missing meals whenever possible.
5. Dry Mouth
Many patients struggle with dry mouth, causing painful eating and drinking. Combat dry mouth:
- Sip on water regularly.
- Snacks on sugar-free hard candy, sweet snacks and ice chips or popsicles.
- Stir in gravy or other sauces.
- Avoid all alcohol-including mouthwashes dependent on alcohol.
6. Mouth Sores
When faced with painful mouth sores:
- Turn to liquid supplements and shakes as meal replacements.
- Eat soft, smaller foods like soups, mashed potatoes, egg salad, scrambled eggs and oatmeal.
- Consume cold foods.
7. Weight Loss
It’s not recommended to restrict calorie intake during cancer care, even if you are overweight. For keeping the pounds on:
- Eat 4 to 6 meals a day
- Pick foods which are high in calories and high in protein.
- Eat often. There’s no waiting until you feel hungry.
- Add tofu, peanut butter, ice cream and milk to smoothies, to increase your protein intake
- Cook with balanced oils such as olive oil as much as possible and snack on avocados, nuts and peanut butter to add more fats into your diet.
- Eat more dairy products, such as whole milk, ice cream, and condensed milk.
- Incorporate the liquid supplements into your diet to add calories and nutrients. In a variety of flavours, there are many choices on the market
If you’re currently seeking treatment or have been done for a long time, make sure to do whatever you can to protect your health. Just follow these guidelines, seek professional help, and try to stay as healthy (physically, mentally, and emotionally) as possible.
What to do, as a Cancer Care Giver
One of the first steps after being told someone you love has cancer will be learning about their diagnosis. This will help you understand the disease process and get an idea of what lies ahead. Some of the first questions that you and the person with cancer should ask the doctor and/or the cancer care team are:
- What kind of cancer is it?
- Where is it? Has it spread beyond where it started?
- What are the treatment options? Which do you recommend?
- What’s the goal of this treatment?
- How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
- What side effects should we expect?
- How will treatment affect everyday activities?
- What’s the likely long-term outcome?
There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the treatment, so try to take the best physical, mental, emotional health care of your loved one. Stay strong, and try to motivate them as well. Try to keep things as normal as possible, so that it’s not traumatic for them. You can give a gift for cancer patients to them something to cheer them up.
Try to find as much information about the treatment, as possible. Also, do make them prepared for any good or bad outcome, as well.