The Latest Innovations in Cancer Treatments
According to the latest statistics, almost 40 percent of men and women in the United States will at some point in their lives be diagnosed with cancer. As a result, scientists are working harder than ever to develop new and innovative treatments to help patients dealing with cancers of all types. Whether it’s breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, or numerous other types, the good news is that different kinds of treatments are being introduced on a regular basis in an effort to seek a cure to this devastating disease.
One of the most promising parts of cancer treatment involves clinical trials. Often a way for patients to gain access to the very latest treatment options, the trials offer additional benefits as well. For starters, patients can usually receive treatment without having to pay, which is always a benefit for families struggling with the disease. Many trials often focus on new techniques for surgery or chemotherapy treatments, which lets researchers test ideas and options that might otherwise not be available during standard courses of treatment.
For many people dealing with cancer, alternative therapies are often intriguing. Some of the most common ones now popular with patients include acupuncture, the use of marijuana for both smoking and inhalation, and Gerson therapy, which focuses on using a combination of strict diets, dietary supplements, and enemas in an effort to remove toxins from the body. By doing so, the hope is that the immune system will be bolstered, replacing excess salt with potassium in an effort to create a stronger body.
One of the latest and most promising advances in cancer treatment involves the use of immunotherapy to destroy cancer cells. Looked at as being potentially very effective against breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and many others, immunotherapy is based on the idea that antibodies can be introduced to a patient’s body to seek out and destroy cancer cells. Another technique involves taking T cells from a tumor, modifying the genetics in the cells, and then reintroducing them to the patient’s body. Since these cells can also be grown in a lab, doctors are becoming better able to use this treatment more frequently.
While not one of the most pleasant treatments for patients to endure, radiation is considered one of the most effective. Designed to shrink tumors or lessen the problems associated with them, this form of treatment is usually given over many days or weeks, with the idea that the cancer cells will continue to keep dying long after the treatment ends. Many innovations lately have been related to internal therapy, which uses liquid radiation given through an IV or other methods such as seeds or capsules placed near a tumor. Because this treatment can make patients very nauseous or fatigued, researchers have been busy developing newer forms of this treatment to help alleviate these side effects. By trying to use lower doses to achieve the best results, patients can hopefully have fewer healthy cells become damaged as a result of the treatment.
With almost 1.7 million people being diagnosed with cancer annually and nearly 600,000 people dying from the disease each year, it’s imperative that doctors and researchers do as much as possible to find effective ways to treat or eliminate the disease. In the United States, the cost for cancer care now exceeds $156 billion, and is expected to approach $200 billion within the next 20 years. By putting this money into these and other research methods, more and more innovations can be developed to help rid the world of cancer.