We know that cancer treatment is just part of the picture. However, if you have just been diagnosed with cancer, it is the only part you see. Your cancer treatment plan becomes the primary focus of your life. As life goes on for everyone else, your world comes to a grinding halt. You catch glimpses of everyday activities in your peripheral vision, but they seem like a sideshow – distractions to your process, your plan, your fight. Cancer has become your job, your obsession. A cancer diagnosis defines and dislips your life in substantial ways. Given that cancer treatment takes center stage, it is of utmost importance to understand as much as possible about the components of an integrative treatment plan. Let's start with conventional treatment.
Conventional medicine is based upon three basic treatment options. Although there have been improvements within each, these same options have been offered to cancer patients for decades. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have all been shown to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, they can also cause varying degrees of damage to normal tissues and they do not always cure cancer. The continued hunt for more effective treatments and treatment support options is the driving force behind current research and development in conventional cancer care. Targeted molecular therapies are one result of this search. While still falling short of eradicating tumor, conventional cancer therapies are powerful weapons in this fight.
A great deal of individualized thought and information gathering should go into determining a cancer treatment plan. To decide which conventional and / or complementary treatments are most appropriate, ask yourself these key questions:
- Where is the cancer?
- What stage is the tumor and has it spread?
- How old is the person and how is their overall health?
- What are the chances of survival and remission?
- Which treatment offers the best chance of destroying the tumor while causing the least harm to the person?
- What are the risks associated with the proposed treatment?
- What are the goals of the person with cancer?
Answering these questions will help you make educated decisions. This, in turn, will give you greater confidence in your treatment and will keep you focused on doing what you can to maximize its benefits.