Dangerous Growth: 4 Cutting-Edge Techniques to Treat Tumors
Cancer is a serious problem that comes in many forms and affects people in different ways. Doctors may prescribe one treatment or different treatments, such as a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.
If you’re stricken with cancer, you have a lot to think about and to discuss with your doctor. However, there are some new techniques for fighting cancer that may improve your outcome.
Hormone treatments are used to slow or stop the growth of tumors. Also known as hormonal therapy or endocrine treatment, it’s been used for other maladies for some years and is now helpful in fighting cancer, particularly breast and prostate cancer.
Depending on your condition, different hormones are used to either block production of compounds that are feeding the cancer, or manipulate hormones to help the body resist the cancer cells more effectively. While this can have some side effects, it can be used both to treat and prevent cancer.
Cryotherapy is essentially freezing cancerous tumors, usually using cooled argon-helium gas. However, in surgeries it’s also followed up by extreme heat, or “burning” of the tumor. This may be done through electrotherapy, which channels a high current into a needle-like tip.
Cryotherapy helps in both treating and recovery from cancer. After about 15 min, the tumor and/or surrounding tissue are sufficiently cooled to minimize pain and slow the bleeding. This can allow for rapid and relatively painless destruction of larger cancer growths, while lowering metabolic rates and reducing swelling in any injured tissues that result from invasive surgery.
There are also safer and more precise techniques for radiation therapy. Modern technology has produced “particle knives” that emit radioactive gamma rays to destroy cancer cells. With the help of computer imaging, small devices can be inserted into the tumor that continually kill cells and disrupt their DNA to inhibit spreading.
If you’re facing the possibility of traditional radiation therapy, you might want to ask an experienced neurology specialist from Billings Clinic or a similar healthcare provider about this option.
Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to attack cancer formations. Your blood cells and antibodies are at work every moment, but tend to ignore cancer cells because they are a growth of your own tissue, not an invasive virus or bacteria.
Gene therapy research is being done to develop materials that can “trick” your own body. This could be as simple as injecting an engineered adenovirus into your tumor. The hope is that it will soon be possible to create a cancer “vaccine”.
The type of treatment you receive will have to be determined by your physician and your own circumstances. New tools, however, are offering new hope.