Cancer can occur anywhere in the body and many times, the diagnosis is delayed and sometimes the cancer is detected in the last stag. It requires a multidisciplinary team of a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgical oncologist, nurses, social workers, dietitians to come together to provide a holistic care to a patient suffering from cancer.
Anyone or few symptoms may coexist in cancer patients from the list provided below, depending on the location of cancer and its spread- Fever, chills, recurrent infections or fever, loss of appetite, nausea, persistent fatigue, weakness, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, bone/joint pain and prone to easy fractures, shortness of breath, itchy skin or skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, easy bruising, bleeding gums, sweating of body during night, abdominal pain and back pain, headaches along with visual difficulties etc.
Cancer Treatment In India, the factors that determine what type of treatment regimen the patient may receive depends on the type of blood cancer, disease’s subtype, phase, category and or stage, cytogenetic analysis results, overall health and symptoms, laboratory investigations like white blood cell count, cancer location, stage, rate of disease progression and spread: past history and family history of cancer and subsequent chemotherapy to treat it, how the quality of life will get impacted by the receipt of treatment
There are various treatment options for cancer and are listed below
Surgery is the removal of the tumor and is performed as the tumor can improve symptoms and improve the prognosis of a person with cancer. The surgeon will try to remove as much of the tumor as possible, including any areas of spread and nearby enlarged lymph nodes
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy tumor cells, usually by stopping the cells ability to grow and divide, usually given after surgery or with or after radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can be given via an intravenous (IV) tube placed into a vein using a needle or in a pill or capsule that is swallowed (orally). A chemotherapy schedule means the number of treatment cycles that need to be given over a defined period of time. In chemotherapy, either a single drug or a combination of different drugs is given. The side effects of chemotherapy include fatigue, the risk of infection, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and neutropenia. These side effects are transient and disappear once the treatment is finished.
Radiation therapy Radiation therapy is the use of high energy x-rays to destroy tumor cells. The schedule of radiation therapy regimen consists of a specific number of treatments given over a given set period of time. Side effects from radiation therapy may include fatigue, mild skin reactions, upset stomach, and diarrhea. These side effects are transient and disappear once the treatment is finished.
Targeted therapy In addition to standard chemotherapy, targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the tumor and blocks the growth of tumor cells while simultaneously limiting the damage to healthy cells
Palliative and symptomatic care includes supporting the patient with his or her physical, emotional, and social needs, improving the quality of life, and supporting patients and their families. Palliative treatments include support related to medication, nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, emotional support, and other therapies.