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Cancer Treatments

 

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Overview
The effectiveness of any kind of cancer treatment depends on a number of factors including the type of cancer, or malignancy, the location of the disease and the extent that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Most cancers are usually treated with a combination approach. The main cancer treatments include surgery to remove the cancerous cells, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Surgery and radiotherapy are local treatments. Both are used early in the treatment of cancer or in combination later with other treatments. They work best when the cancer cells have not spread too much within the body. Surgery may even be used after the cancer has advanced to relieve some of the symptoms and reduce the mass of malignant cells. Radiotherapy uses X-rays and radium to kill cancer cells. Accelerator and betatron machines beam these rays at the patients. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are called systemic treatments because they can act on cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy uses a variety of anti-cancer drugs that keep the malignant cells from multiplying. Effective treatments involve finding the best combination of drugs to treat the patient. Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, involves different types of treatments that rely on manipulating a patient's immune system. A relatively new approach to cancer treatment, immunotherapy procedures increase the body's natural ability to destroy malignant cells. Prevention and early diagnosis, however, will probably continue to be the most effective ways to control cancer. There are a few strategies you can use to lower your risk of cancer. Eat a diet low in fat and high in fruit and grains, refrain from tobacco products and avoid too much exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

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