Cancer Treatment

Cancer Treatment

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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.
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    A , Vascular & Interventional Radiology, answered
    Typically the best candidates for treatment with interventional oncology using types of minimally invasive techniques are those people that had either very minimal disease or very early stage disease, such as very early stage I lung cancer. It can also be used for people who are at the opposite end of the spectrum and have metastases where the cancer has spread, usually from something like the colon to the liver. In these cases, the cancer is treated before it spreads elsewhere or before it causes liver failure, causing the person to pass away. Interventional oncology treatments are used early on and late. 
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    A , Vascular & Interventional Radiology, answered
    In treating cancer with ablation, a treatment probe is guided directly into a tumor using imaging, like computerized tomography (CT) or ultrasound. It’s like a biopsy, but instead of taking out tissue, a special type of needle or antennae is used to either burn or freeze the tumor. The hope of ablation is to replace the need for surgical resection.
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    A , Vascular & Interventional Radiology, answered
    Interventional oncology therapies fall into two main categories. One is a vascular-based therapy where treatments placed into the blood vessels are carried to the part of the body that has the tumor. The other category is ablations, where the tumor is punctured directly and killed. 
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    A , Vascular & Interventional Radiology, answered
    The most common types of cancer treated with interventional oncology are gastrointestinal (GI) tract cancers. Usually that's colon cancer, which is very common. There are other forms of cancer called neuroendocrine cancers or carcinoid cancers. Typically when these cancers spread to the liver, interventional oncologists get involved in treating those liver metastases.

    Another very common cancer that we get involved with is primary lung cancers, typically associated with people who smoke. In those people that cannot undergo a surgical resection of their lung cancer, interventional oncologists can go in and ablate or burn that tumor so these people do not have to undergo surgery.