Cancer Treatment

Cancer Treatment

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    How Are Malignant Tumors Treated?
    The first step in treating a malignant tumor is the partial or total removal of the tumor based on its location, says Aldo M. Rosemblat, MD, of Westside Regional Medical Center. Learn more about treatments and removal in this video.
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    A Radiation Oncology, answered on behalf of
    TrueBeam's precision and accuracy are two of the most important attributes separating this technology from its predecessors. The technology is an advanced noninvasive radiation therapy system that delivers beams of radiation from multiple angles to tumors more effectively and precisely than systems before it. It allows pinpoint positioning and computer tomography imaging through advanced imaging technology. Treatment plans can be customized person-to-person through TrueBeam's advanced 3D imaging. Its imaging technology is capable of monitoring more than 100,000 data points.

    Through the visualizations, doctors analyze the tumor and construct how the radiation is delivered to the person. A tumor's size, shape and location all affect and determine the required dose of radiation and how it's administered. Throughout the treatment, the aperture of the system changes to target the tumor, thus minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. Even tumors that move, like ones found in the lung, are treatable. TrueBeam features a respiratory gating option that synchronizes delivery with a person's breathing while maintaining accuracy. This accuracy allows higher dose delivery rates, typically 40% to 140% higher than older radiation therapy technology.

    Trinity Health recognizes that people seek medical information on a variety of topics for a variety of reasons. Trinity Health does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. As a Catholic health care organization, Trinity Health acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition.

    Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
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    A Radiation Oncology, answered on behalf of
    In designing a cancer treatment plan using TrueBeam, medical professionals use 3D imaging to analyze and form a plan of action for the tumor. Every tumor is different, and this visualization determines the size, shape and location of the tumor, along with the necessary doses and angles for treating it. Before the person even begins actual treatment, TrueBeam technology is perfecting the process. When it's time for the person to undergo treatment, TrueBeam continuously rotates around the person lying on the table, delivering treatment to the target with submillimeter accuracy.

    The continuous movement is a major upgrade over previous step-and-shoot models since doses are delivered at a much quicker rate. Treatments once completed in 30 to 60 minutes are now completed in just two to five minutes. A shorter treatment time minimizes a person’s discomfort and movement, and improves accuracy.

    Trinity Health recognizes that people seek medical information on a variety of topics for a variety of reasons. Trinity Health does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. As a Catholic health care organization, Trinity Health acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition.

    Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
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    A Radiation Oncology, answered on behalf of
    The benefits of TrueBeam in treating cancer include that it is an advanced technology offering improved treatment that is more precise, more accurate and faster than previous treatment options. TrueBeam is a radiotherapy system that uses noninvasive tumor-destroying radiation to treat cancers throughout the body, including lung, breast, prostate, and head and neck. For doctors, the fully integrated system provides advanced imaging, allowing them to customize treatments specifically to the person and the cancer. It allows doctors to make sure the treatment plan can be replicated during the actual treatment, and takes into account the person's motion, both external and internal. Treatment is also completed in just two to five minutes. A shorter treatment time minimizes a person’s discomfort and movement, and improves accuracy.

    The accuracy of TrueBeam allows higher dose delivery rates, which means an increase in chance of eliminating the tumor. TrueBeam also delivers a continuous treatment, rapidly tracking and hitting its target from any angle. If the person happens to shift, treatment automatically ceases until the person is realigned. While treatment occurs, TrueBeam's imaging system also renders real-time visualization for the doctor to monitor. The technology also  uses 25% less x-ray dosage than earlier Varian image-guided technologies. And while TrueBeam improves treatment of difficult tumors, it doesn't sacrifice a person’s comfort.

    TrueBeam is a powerful, remarkable step in the progression of cancer treatment. With effective accuracy, it destroys cancerous cells while limiting exposure to a person's healthy tissue translating into improved outcomes with fewer side effects.

    Trinity Health recognizes that people seek medical information on a variety of topics for a variety of reasons. Trinity Health does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. As a Catholic health care organization, Trinity Health acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition.

    Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
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    A Oncology, answered on behalf of
    How is genetic testing used in cancer treatment?
    By studying genetics, some cancers can actually be prevented. In this video, medical oncologist Muzaffar Iqbal, MD, of Sarah Cannon HCA Midwest Health Cancer Network, discusses the impact of genetic testing on cancer research and treatment.
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    A good diet can help you do better during cancer treatment. People who eat well and drink lots of fluids can deal with cancer treatment side effects better and are better able to fight infection. In addition, their bodies can rebuild healthy tissues faster.

    Even when you know it's important to eat well, there may be days when you feel you just can't. Cancer generally decreases appetite. Chemotherapy also affects your appetite because it affects how your food tastes. Still, you must eat as much as you can while you are having treatment for cancer.
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    Addiction is not a serious concern in people with cancer. When the proper dosage of pain medication is taken around the clock for cancer treatment, addiction does not occur. If the pain is relieved by surgery or other treatments, continued use of the pain medications is not necessary. Physical tolerance may develop if you take narcotic medications for a long time, so stopping the medication abruptly may cause you to feel ill for a few days. Slowly stopping the dose over a week or two may lessen side effects.

    If you are afraid of becoming addicted to the pain medication used to treat cancer, talk to your doctor. Don't accept pain because you have cancer. It can be managed with help from knowledgeable healthcare professionals. Many myths about pain still exist. The most troubling one is that too much medication will cause addiction. Studies have shown this to be completely false. Addiction is a psychological or emotional dependence on feeling high. People with cancer do not take drugs to get high, but to relieve their pain.
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    Varubi is a tablet administered an hour or two prior to the start of chemotherapy to help prevent the nausea and vomiting that can be a side effect of this cancer treatment by blocking the signals to the brain that trigger these symptoms. It is an antiemitic medication containing rolapitant; it is usually given with other antiemitics. Varubi's side effects may include dizziness, hiccups, stomach pain, and decreased appetite. Varubi should not be used with the tranquilizers thioridazine or pimozide. It may also interact with other drugs and supplements like St. John's wort, rifampin, and digoxin. The doctor should be alerted as to all other drugs and supplements the patient is taking. Varubi may lower white blood cell counts, leading to greater chance of infection. It should not be taken more frequently than once every two weeks. 
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    Opdivo (nivolumab) is a drug approved for use in fighting advanced kidney cancer, advanced non-small cell lung cancer, and inoperable or advanced melanoma skin cancer. It is an intravenous drug, infused over an hour. Dosage varies according to the type of cancer treated, and may be prescribed with other drugs. Side effects may include cough, nausea, and tiredness. Opdivo may cause fetal harm, and is only advised for use during pregnancy if necessary. Women are advised not to breastfeed while being treated with Opdivo. It is not approved for use in children. Opdivo can cause harsh effects on the immune system during treatment. Patients treated with Opdivo who suffer chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, diarrhea, jaundice, rash, difficulty breathing, blood in the urine, headache, stiff neck, or other concerning symptoms should contact their doctor immediately. 
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    A Surgical Oncology, answered on behalf of
    After treatment for cancer, living takes on different meaning. Cancer survivors need to transition from cancer treatment to maintaining a schedule of regular checkups and a healthy lifestyle. Even though they have had a cancer diagnosis and have completed their treatment, they must remain vigilant about their health.

    Greater awareness of early detection, better screening techniques and advanced treatments have lead to improved survival rates. Once people with cancer get through their treatment, many just want to move on with their lives. But they need help re-entering the world of primary care and regular health maintenance. As more people survive cancer, they should also have the guidance and support to help them embrace their lives once again. Such help can be found in support groups and survivorship programs.