Medical treatments for cancer


Medical treatments for cancer

Le lečenje karcinoma depends on a multitude of factors: type of cancer, size and location, course of the disease and the state of health of the person. It usually takes several months. Then regular follow-up is offered, due to the possibility of relapse.

Depending on the degree of cancer progression, 3 therapeutic approaches are possible:

  • Un lek, which aims to cure cancer.
  • Un adjuvant treatment, which is given alongside the main treatment, to increase the chances of recovery (for example, hormone therapy given before or after surgery for prostate cancer).
  • Un palliative treatment, which aims to relieve symptoms or prolong life, when the chances of recovery are very low.

Treating cancer is quite a challenge: killing the diseased cells while preserving the zdrave ćelije. Radiation therapy, for example, also destroys healthy cells near the tumor. As for chemotherapy treatments, some of them will affect the whole organism, and more particularly rapidly developing cells, such as those of the scalp, digestive tract and blood. In this case, the side effects can be significant: reduced immune function, anemia, digestive problems and hair loss. Researchers are working to develop drugs that only attack cancer cells.

Types of possible medical treatments

hirurgija. If possible, the tumor is removed by surgery and the treatment is supplemented with radiation therapy and chemotherapy to remove any remaining cancer cells. It is the oldest treatment against cancer and arguably the most effective when the tumor is still confined to one region of the body, that is to say, it has not infiltrated into neighboring tissues.

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Radioterapija. Using different sources of ionizing rays, depending on the type of tumor, this treatment is often required after surgery. It aims to destroy cancer cells that may remain and to prevent local recurrences. The rays also kill normal cells. Ionizing rays are emitted either by a radiotherapy machine or by radioactive substances introduced into the patient’s body near the tumor (brachytherapy). In Canada and the United States, about half of cancer patients receive radiation therapy.

hemoterapija. Chemotherapy consists of administering, by injection or in the form of tablets, chemical agents that kill diseased cells. There are several, which have different mechanisms of action and different side effects. Its use depends on the malignancy of the tumor, its origin and its stage of development. It is often used when the tumor comes back and when there is metastasis. Chemotherapy is sometimes indicated before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor and make it easier to remove.

Hormonska terapija. Hormonal therapy can help control and cure breast or prostate cancer, which are sometimes hormonodépendants (their growth can be stimulated by hormones, such as estrogen or testosterone). It is often aimed at reducing the levels of certain hormones in the body, or preventing the tumor from using these hormones to grow.

imunoterapija. Among the main chemicals active in the immune system, there are citokini – including interferons and interleukins. In patients with an already strong immune system and in whom the cancer is still at an early stage, cytokines can be injected to boost the body’s immune function. In addition, new immunotherapy treatments are being developed. They consist in producing a vakcina which stimulates the activity of the patient’s immune system against their tumor.

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Transplantacija koštane srži. This treatment is only used for cancers that affect immune cells (eg lymphoma).

Angiogeneza tumor is the phenomenon by which new small blood vessels form around a tumor. These vessels allow the tumor to feed and grow. Their formation is stimulated by substances secreted by cancer cells. Several chemotherapy and hormone therapy drugs aim to stop the phenomenon of angiogenesis so as to “starve” the tumor.

Psihološka i socijalna podrška

The disease almost always has psychological impacts, which vary over the stages: diagnosis, treatment, reconciliation with family life and work, remission, etc. the dijagnoza often results in emotional shock. The feeling of losing control over your life, even temporarily, can be overwhelming, as can the ignorance of what lies ahead.

Podrška za porodica, rođaci or specialized help is very valuable to better face these upheavals. The accompanying persons may also need help. Consult our file Supporting a sick loved one: What to say? What to do?.

THEspecialized help can take all kinds of forms: consulting a psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, social worker or nurse, participating in a support group, or meeting others patients on the Internet.


Research led by Alastair Cunningham at the University of Toronto and David Spiegel at Stanford University shows that participation in a psihoterapija grupa generally decreases stress, provides a greater appreciation for life and helps to make sense of it19-26 . According to other research, however preliminary and controversial, the lifespan20,27-29 could lengthen in some people with cancer who make, with a great personal commitment, such an approach in psychotherapy.

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The temelji and societies dedicated to people with cancer offer several support services. See the Sites of interest section. See also our Psychotherapy fact sheet, which presents the main types of psychotherapy.

primjedba. Experts warn against the simplistic equation according to which the Pozitivna misao can cure cancer, or the disease is due to a psychological conflict which, when realized, will lead to a cure.



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