Cancer – Types of Treatment Available Today

There are various options available for the treatment of cancer. Your Doctor decides on the right treatment for you depending on the type of cancer you have developed, and at what stage your cancer has been detected. Doctors also take into consideration the possible side effects you suffer as a result of the treatment and your physical ability to deal with these.

Treatment ranges from a single form to a combination of two or several forms. Patients and their families are involved in the decision about the treatment options your Doctor advises for your treatment. While you feel anxious and overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge to overcome the disease, the task becomes a little easier once you know about the treatments.

Treatment Options

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Medication

Surgery

This is a surgical procedure to remove the cancerous cells from your body. It is performed by trained surgeons. Your surgeon opts for either open surgery or minimal invasive surgery as required. Open surgery removes the cancerous growth along with adjacent healthy tissues and lymph nodes. Laparoscopic surgery involves inserting cameras and apparatus through holes drilled in the body to remove the growth with less impact on surrounding tissues.

Radiation therapy

This treatment uses high doses of radiation to cauterize and shrink cancer growths and stop them from spreading. External Beam Radiation uses machines to direct rays towards your cancer growth without touching the body. Internal Radiation puts radiation source in solid form close to the growth for targeted release or liquid form in the blood stream enabling it to travel through tissues and target random cancer cells.

Chemotherapy

This entails use of specific drugs to kill cancer cells to stop or retard cell growth. It is useful for cancer cure, preventing recurrence, stop or shrink growth of cancer cells.

Immunotherapy

This is a biological therapy that aids the immune system to fight cancer. It uses living organisms to improve the functioning and impact of the immune system. Monoclonal antibodies bind to specific targets and trigger immune responses to kill cancer cells. Adaptive cell transfer increases the natural ability of T cells to resist cancer. Cytokines are the body’s own protein products used to enhance the response of the immune system. Treatment vaccines work against cancer cells by triggering opposition to their growth.

Targeted Therapy

This challenges the changes of cancer cells and affects their ability to divide and grow. This is done by the use of small molecular drugs or monoclonal antibodies.

Hormone Therapy

It is particularly useful for breast cancer. It stops or slows down the production of hormones that encourage growth of cancer cells. They work in two ways: by blocking the production of the hormone in the body or by changing the behavior of these hormones.

Stem Cell Transplant

This procedure replaces blood producing stem cells in patients whose blood cells have been damaged or destroyed due to the disease or therapy.

New Cancer Treatment Techniques: Antibody Drug Conjugate & Peptide Drug Conjugations

New Cancer Treatment Techniques: Antibody Drug Conjugate & Peptide Drug Conjugations

The efforts to find a cure for cancers have been ongoing since long time ago. Yet, no effective methods or drugs are discovered by now. Scientists and doctors never stop their steps along this journey with the pains and sufferings of cancer patients echoing in their minds. But with the advance in science and technology, new emerging techniques do make their presence and share their role in the battles against various cancers.

Among them bioconjugation is worthy of mentioning here. As its name suggests, bioconjugation is basically a technique used to form a stable covalent link between at least two different molecular parts of biological origin. Through this technique new chemicals can be made or some biomolecules are able to take on certain personalized new looks. Despite its limitations in specificity, stability and bioavailability, bioconjugation is widely used in biomedical researches given its great potential in cancer treatment.

Of course, when talking about new cancer treatment techniques, we cannot miss antibody drug conjugates and peptide drug conjugates. With application of them, new drugs to cure cancer may be discovered.

Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs)

ADCs are virtually complex molecules that are composed of an antibody linked to a biologically active cytotoxic payload or drug. Ever since the advent of ADC technique, it has gained remarkable attention and gradually revolutionize the field of cancer chemotherapy.

What makes it stand out among all breakthroughs in the biopharmaceutical industry is ADCs intend to target and kill exclusively the cancer cells and thus spares healthy cells. This differentiates itself from the conventional treatments which will also damage healthy tissues during dose escalation.

Peptide Drug Conjugations

Peptides are considered as an important type of molecules to be derived using the bioconjugation technique. Peptide drug conjugate holds a promising stance in targeted cancer therapy as it enables the delivery of therapeutic agents by providing distinct advantage of improving therapeutic potential of drugs. Through synthesis and modification of different categories of peptides, this technique will exert considerable impact on academic research, clinical diagnostics, the production of therapeutics and more.

Research is ongoing for the development of new drug delivery systems for targeted drug delivery. Peptides derived from sequence of cell surface proteins have shown potent binding affinity to the target cell surface receptors. Equipping peptides-drug conjugates with target cell specific ligands like EGF and RGD peptides can provide a solution for selective and targeted delivery.

How to Cope When a Family Member Is Diagnosed With Cancer

How to Cope When a Family Member Is Diagnosed With Cancer

Receiving a phone call that a parent, sibling, or beloved aunt is diagnosed with cancer evokes a series of unexpected emotions. The initial shock hits like a ton of bricks but won’t last. It will soon be overshadowed by other feelings like anger, sadness, guilt, and grief. You can also expect anxiety and the fear that, someday, you may become a cancer victim as well; you will remember all the times you were asked during medical checkups if cancer runs in the family.

Several things can be done to help yourself, family members, and friends cope with a cancer diagnosis. Talk about the situation, the possible changes, treatment options, support systems, and the help you can provide. Research the type of cancer that was found, and the potential physical and emotional changes that may transpire.

Assisting your loved one in these trying times will be tough but rewarding. Develop a strong coping strategy. Understand how this disease can change a person recently diagnosed with cancer and study proven support techniques. The following tips can also be useful in your endeavor:

  • Prepare yourself by asking medical professionals questions about the type of cancer your family member is dealing with, treatment options, side-effects of medications, and ways to best help the patient.
  • Accept that cancer patients undergo physical and behavioral changes which are beyond your control.
  • Stay calm and collected at all times – this is not about you.
  • Leave your personal problems and health issues at home.
  • Do not pretend to know what the patient is going through unless you are a cancer survivor.
  • Speak from the heart, express your concern, be encouraging and convey your willingness to “be there” no matter what happens.
  • Take time to listen and be patient. Emotional breakdowns are unavoidable.
  • Avoid hurtful and embarrassing situations by thinking before speaking.
  • Inspire the patient to be active and focused on goals. Many cancer types can be cured or go into remission.
  • Do not neglect your own physical and emotional needs. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, start an exercise program, and take time for yourself. Do not abandon your hobbies.
  • Try to maintain a positive attitude and make the patient laugh. It is unavoidable, but at some point, you will start to question your own mortality. That is normal.
  • Involve friends and family members no matter where they live. These folks can be equally helpful to the patient and give you a well-deserved break. Relatives living in far-away places can call or use modern technology for video-chats. A funny letter or postcard can generate a smile or laugh to brighten up a patient’s day.
  • Joining a support group can be tremendously helpful when a family member is diagnosed with cancer. Learn from the experiences of others.

Cancer patients sometimes are embarrassed to ask for help. Offer to run errands, pick up groceries, prepare a meal, plan a fun outing, or drive them to the hospital for treatment. Every bit helps.

Be prepared to adjust your attitude and support. Patients have good and bad days. Also, know that it does not get easier when another family member is diagnosed with cancer. Expect the same emotional turmoil.

What Does Guilt Have To Do With Cancer?

What Does Guilt Have To Do With Cancer?

Guilt is sadly a function of one of the biggest illusions on Earth, namely than man is sinful. If you sin (and you must, for otherwise you wouldn’t be human), you must be punished. And the extent of the punishment always corresponds to the amount of guilt you feel. The guiltier you feel (regardless of the nature of your “sin”), the more misfortune actually descends upon you. And if by any chance you don’t feel guilty to begin with, at some point you are likely to start feeling guilty for not feeling any guilt. The result is the same – you expect to be punished, i.e. you assume the role of the victim. And that is exactly what happens. You punish yourself in all sorts of ways, denying yourself what rightly is yours. In most cases, the punishment you give yourself is making yourself (or rather, your physical body) sick. You have to suffer for your sins, right? And what better way to experience suffering than creating intense physical pain? Doctors call this “cancer”. Objectively, (part of) your body is eating you up. Subjectively, guilt eats at you. In truth, you are doing all of it by yourself, to yourself.

So, how do you stop feeling guilty? Easily – by taking responsibility! Guilt and responsibility are in complementary distribution. You are either guilty or responsible. Responsible people are always in control of themselves and their emotions. They do not entertain the concept of “sin”. Instead, they talk about their mistakes. And they understand that mistakes are a desirable part of their learning journey. When a mistake is made, responsible people ask themselves: “What can I learn from it and what can I do differently to avoid the same mistake in the future?” In other words, instead of waiting for punishment (turning into a victim, like a guilty person would do), responsible people take action. They also take responsibility for their feelings understanding that whereas pain is sometimes inevitable, suffering is ALWAYS optional.

Now, how do you know whether you feel guilty or you are being responsible? Here is a simple test: if you feel disempowered when something goes wrong, then you feel guilt and so you are being irresponsible; if you feel empowered, you are absolutely taking responsibility. The choice is yours. Control the things you can, and accept what you cannot control. And remember: guilt creates disease; responsibility transcends disease.

Cancer and Faith in God

Cancer and Faith in God

For millions of people around the globe, cancer is seen as devastating, both physically and psychologically. Because of the extensive prevalence of the disease worldwide and the uncertainty and severe unpleasantness of the most common treatments it has more than deserved the epithet, dread disease.

Many people can identify with the disease, either as a direct sufferer or knowing of a family member, relative, colleague or other acquaintance who went through the experience. Cancer absolutely does not prescribe to any racial, religious, cultural or social boundaries. It affects the wealthy, the poor, aristocrats, sinners, intellectuals, drunkards, and even those perceived as living a super healthy life.

Influenced by various factors upon diagnosis, the sufferer fills with fear and is forced to push aside the issues of everyday life to focus on the fundamental and eternal considerations, probable imminent death introduces. From now on, not only physical suffering but intense pain caused by a roller coaster of emotions, losses, regrets and relational challenges becomes the norm.

The sufferer seeks for hope wherever it can be found. Very many take this quest to God, or the Superior Being they identify with. At such a time of crisis, a pre-existent relationship with God blossoms. For Christians by example, access to God and the resources of their faith is crucial. Second to this is the support of close friends and family who all experience the crisis to some extent alongside the sufferer. Under the shadow of the big C, all involved need considerable understanding, compassion and counsel.

This leads us to the heart-rending story of Shirley Cameron.

Born in 1975 in South Africa to parents who had been told they couldn’t fall pregnant, Shirley grew up as a pastor’s kid. Although very talented and gifted life for her developed into a struggle with depression, failed friendships, and the belief that she had no worth and was not lovable, not by God and not by anyone else. Her marriage failed after five and a half years and she found herself alone in the UK. At university she had decided that since the Christianity with which she grew up left her facing an unrelenting God whom she could never please and who was always finding her at fault she would turn away from it.

In the UK her desires became to be a successful career woman, to travel and have fun. But as time went by she discovered to her surprise that what she wanted most was to marry and have children. Her mother was always a close friend and confidant and longed more than anything that she would meet God and be saved. The Lord continued to pursue Shirley and on one of her travels alone on a beach in Dunedin, she prayed for a long time “because I thought God might want to hear from me.”

Through her struggles to find the right man and other life circumstances her relationship with God gained strength. And then in April 2013, now a member of Greyfriars church in Reading, Shirley’s whole life gets turned upside down, when she is diagnosed with cancer.

Once diagnosed, Shirley chooses to cut my crap and do it with God. He blesses her, but above all, with the realisation of the one thing she wants above all else, the knowledge that he loves her.

This experience is fascinatingly captured in the book called “Mum, Please Help Me To Die”. Please read it, and there is no doubt that it will change both your personal and spiritual outlook not only about cancer, but also life in general.