Cancer is a devastating illness. Although the effects vary according to the type of cancer, the disease can be cured if properly intervened at an earlier time. The right treatment, aided by the right technology and Singapore oncologist can provide crucial life support to the cancer patient.
However, the situation also means that the cancer patient must go through a long, complicated treatment process. And the institution that treats the patient must have certified and well-experienced personnel, a wealth of state-of-the-art technology, knowledge, infrastructure, and modern medical methods that will allow ease of coordination between Singapore oncology consultants.
After a patient is diagnosed with cancer, he’s likely to undergo one or a combination of these cancer treatments.
Chemotherapy. This is a cancer treatment that utilizes drugs to destroy cancer cells. Oncologists who specialize in cancer treatment use drugs such as chemotherapy agents. These drugs interfere with the development of tumours and shrink or even completely get rid of them.
Chemotherapy is usually an effective way to treat cancer, but can cause side effects as the drugs also affect the surrounding healthy cells. Once you check for cancer at Harley Street in Singapore and proceed with chemo, some of its side effects include nausea, vomiting, and feeling extremely tired, but vary greatly in severity depending on the drug used, the type of cancer, and how the patient’s body reacts to the treatment.
Many of today’s chemotherapy drugs don’t cause severe side effects like the older drugs. Though the side effects are still unpleasant, they’re not related to the effectiveness of the procedure and usually go away after the treatment is completed. Chemotherapy is prescribed in specific number of cycles over a certain period of time.
Radiation Therapy. This cancer treatment, which can be done eternally or internally, utilizes x-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often performed in conjunction with a surgery to shrink tumours and to lessen possibility of re-growth of cancer cells after the operation. While this therapy is a local treatment, it can damage surrounding normal cells, causing side effects such as alopecia, swelling and fatigue. Though these are just short-term side effects, external-beam radiation can cause more serious side effects such as neurologic problems, thyroid problems, and infertility; therefore, must be discussed thoroughly with your Singapore oncologist.
Surgery. This cancer treatment aims to remove cancer tissues from the body. For certain types of cancer, surgery is the primary option and can even cure the illness, but cal also serve as a diagnostic method. Most cancer surgeries are done in hospitals. The risks and side effects vary depending on the patient’s health and the type of surgery performed, but the most expected side effect is pain which is easily treatable.
Immunotherapy. Also known as biologic therapy, this treatment has the power to stimulate the body’s natural fighting mechanism against cancer. Researches are still going on about improving immunotherapies such as monoclonal antibodies, which are laboratory-produced microorganisms that block certain protein functions; and cancer vaccines, which helps the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells. This cancer treatment is expected to cause flu-like symptoms as the therapy is in progress.
Hormone Therapy. This treatment fights cancer cells by altering the amount of hormones in the patient’s body. Hormone therapy is often used for treating cancer of the breast, prostate, and reproductive system. The side effects of hormone therapy differ between men and women, and depend on the drug.
Blood Transfusion. This procedure temporarily replaces parts of the blood when the patient’s body can no longer produce on its own or has lost a lot of them from bleeding. Before a blood transfusion is done on a patient, the doctor will have to run blood tests like complete blood count (CBC). This test will measure the components of the blood—white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. The physician may also perform coagulation tests if there’s any abnormal bleeding. More tests follows to find a donated blood that closely matches the patient’s blood.
Hyperthermia. This medical term means higher than normal body temperature. Though high body temperature is often caused by illness, such as heat stroke or fever, it can also mean heat treatment. By exposing cancer cells in higher temperatures, they are more likely susceptible to other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If aiming to kill the cancer cells, extremely high temperature can be applied but is expected to injure normal cells and tissues. While in some cases it’s possible to use high temperatures to kill tumours, only a certified and highly experienced Singapore doctor should perform the treatment.
Targeted Treatments. These are drugs that attack the proteins in the patient’s body that contributes to the development of cancer. The best thing about this treatment, though, is that unlike chemotherapy, this cancer treatment targets only the cancer cells, leaving normal cells healthy. Therefore, this treatment only cause milder side effects compared to chemotherapy.
The treatment to be used depends on the oncologist’s expert opinion and evaluation of the patient’s case. However, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all procedure for treating cancer, and in many cases patients require a combination of methods to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment. Also, it’s no longer uncommon for cancer patients to employ a team of oncologist Singapore for coming up with the best combination of treatment methods for their case. Every treatment has its own set of pros and cons, and the best oncologist in Singapore should be able to discuss this thoroughly before proceeding with the procedure.