During anti cancer treatment (Conventional cancer treatment), it is difficult to protect the healthy cells of side effects caused by the drugs administered. Although the effects of treatment vary according to each patient and the medications used, all cancer patients suffer adverse effects of treatment that affect their skin, look and internal organs. An important part of the work of clinicians and patients is to precisely manage those potential side effects. The role of this article is to summarize the main side effects caused by different types of conventional cancer treatments and potential natural treatment (including nutrition, remedies and immunotherapy). Let’s start with the conventional methods.
Certain advanced cancer hospitals manage cancer in an organ specific way, and accordingly oncologists are reserved for treating cancers affecting specific organs only. Accordingly, oncologists have successfully treated breast cancer, head and neck cancer, gynecological cancer, orthopedic cancer, lung cancer, neuro cancer, and liver cancer.
Types of Anti Cancer Treatment
There are four types of anti cancer treatment:
Surgery, the oldest form of cancer treatment, is used in cancer treatment either to remove only the tumor, or the entire organ. Cancer surgery offers the greatest chance for cure of cancers that have not spread to other parts of the body. However, no matter how successful a surgery can be, it provokes one or all the following side effects:
- Risk of wound infection
- Damage to internal organs and blood vessels during surgery
- Blood clots can form in the deep veins of the legs after surgery, especially if a person remains in bed for a long time
- Reactions to anesthesia or other medicines. Although rare, these can be serious because they can cause dangerously low blood pressures.
- Problems with other organs, such as the lungs, heart, or kidneys. These are very rare but can happen and can be life-threatening.
Radiation therapy is the use of ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It can be administered externally (external beam radiotherapy) or internally (brachytherapy). Unfortunately, radiation can cause severe blood changes including drop in production of new blood cells, nausea, anemia and vomiting. Other short/long-term side effects of radiotherapy may include:
- Irritation and burning of the skin
- Infertility - radiation to the testicles can cause permanent loss of sperm production
- Fatigue is a common effect of radiation. It may be linked to anemia or weakened immune system
- Brain disorder - radiation therapy to the brain can cause changes in brain function that can lead to memory loss, lower sexual desire, etc.
- Skin disorder - radiation therapy can make your skin become tender or sensitive. The skin may also become dry and itchy. Peeling of the skin may occur.
- Second cancers – the radiation itself can cause Second cancers (metastases)
- Erectile dysfunction - radiation therapy to the pelvis can damage the arteries and nerves that supply the penis and cause problems with erections
Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, its effects affect both healthy cells as cancer cells. Generally, these effects depend to a large proportion of drugs prescribed and their dosage. The anti-cancer drugs quickly affect cell division. This means that the white blood cells, which fight against infection, are also affected.
This combination of factors explains why patients are more prone to infections and fatigue or even anemia during cancer treatment. Similarly, this change of cell division causes hair loss or alopecia. Intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and finally lesions in the mouth (mucositis) can be observed.
Side effects caused by hormonotherapy depend largely on the type of treatment used and prescribed medicines.
One of the drugs in hormonotherapy is called Tamoxifen: it has the effect of depriving cancer cells of estrogen. The Tamoxifen can cause hot flashes, irritation or vaginal discharge, nausea and irregular menstruation.
What is Conventional Treatment of Cancer
During and after Cancer Treatment (Conventional Treatment)
Here are some advices that can help: Keep your diet low in saturated fats. Use mostly unsaturated fats such as fish oil and flax seed oil which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Eat fruits and raw vegetables abundantly; fruits and cruciferous vegetables reduce the risk of all types of cancers and their reoccurrences. Increase your intake of calcium; High intake of calcium reduces the risk of certain type of cancers. Maintain a normal weight; too much body fat is associated with a great number of diseases. Eat foods rich in antioxidant nutrients. Do not smoke! Cigarette smoke, including second hand smoke, is the number one cause of lung cancer. Exercise regularly and keep your body hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids daily; Silver water is necessary. Increase your fiber consumption; It is proven in several researches high fiber lower the chances of having colorectal cancers. Reduce stress, anxiety and depression by laughing, praying and singing; prayer is key to opening the door of impossibility.
Natural cancer treatment
Alternative cancer treatment is the use of herbal remedies to address the causes of the cancer (not just the symptoms) and boost the immune system to fight against pathogens and help the body heal itself. Taken regularly, certain natural herbal remedies may help to maintain the healthy functioning of every cell in your body and strengthen the immune system to ensure continued health and vitality. As we all know, a healthy strong immune system is a key element in protecting the body against infection or diseases like cancer, as well as in the promotion of recovery after illness and during cancer treatment.
Cancers are a bit different to each other's but the fears and worries patients have is similar. The best option to reduce stress and focus on proper treatment of cancer is to know more about it.
Find below cancer guides so that you are made aware of important aspects of it.