Cancer is a collective term for any kind of disease that involves the unnaturally fast and potentially harmful division of cells in a part of the body. A mutation in a cell’s DNA causes the cell to stop its normal function and to divide and grow uncontrollably.
It is a leading cause of death across the globe. It is estimated that more than 600,000 Americans will die from cancer in 2020 according to the American Cancer Society, and roughly 1.8 million will be diagnosed with the disease.
Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer often lead to better outcomes. The goal of cancer treatment is to cure the patient; if a cure is not possible, the goal is to enable the patient to live as long of a life as possible. The specialty of medicine that deals with cancer is called oncology.
What Are the Treatments for Cancer?
Treatment for cancer will depend on the type of cancer, its location in the body, and its stage or grade. Treatment often includes a combination of various methods, which include the following:
If the cancer is localized to one area of the body, the doctor may remove some or all of it surgically. This may be enough to cure the patient. However, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be recommended after surgery.
This type of treatment destroys cancer cells with the use of high-energy particles or waves, making small breaks in the DNA of the cancer cells in order to prevent them from dividing rapidly. This treatment can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Radiation therapy can be used to treat cancer that hasn’t spread throughout the body (metastasized). If the patient does not want to have surgery or if surgery is not possible due to certain underlying health conditions, radiation may be the main or sole treatment.
In chemotherapy treatment for cancer, the drug travels throughout the body and reaches cancer cells that have spread far from the location of the tumor. The chemotherapy or “chemo” medication destroys the cancer cells, preventing them from spreading and shrinking the tumor.
Chemotherapy may be taken orally or via infusion, and it is often combined with surgery and radiation. If the cancer is at an advanced stage, chemo can help to alleviate the symptoms of cancer and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Superior Cancer Treatment in Wooster, OH
It is natural to feel overwhelmed after a cancer diagnosis, but a compassionate and knowledgeable cancer care team can make a big difference in your life. At Wooster Community Hospital, we provide comprehensive cancer care and encourage our patients to take an active role in their healthcare.
We are in collaboration with the James Cancer Network at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC – James), and it is our vision to create a cancer-free world by treating one patient at a time.
If you have any questions about our oncology services or if you wish to request an appointment with a Wooster Community Hospital oncologist, call us today at (330) 262-2800. We look forward to being your healthcare partner.