Currently, there are 5 common forms of treatments to fight cancers, malignant
tumors, leukemia and lymphoma, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy,
herbal therapy and biotherapy. The option of cancer treatments depends upon the
typing of malignant tumors, the stage of cancer disease, and the state of
patient¨s physical condition and the knowledge of physicians. Each kind of
treatments has its special mission in curing or remission of the malignant
Surgery is the number one treatment for patients with early stage of malignant
tumors or patients with small cancer without metastases in distal organ or
tissue. The definition of a small tumor is that the size of a tumor is smaller
than 30 mm in diameters on CT-scan or MRI images.
Curative surgery removes the cancerous tumor or growth from the body. Surgeons
use curative surgery when the malignant tumor is localized to a specific area of
the body. This type of treatment is often considered the primary treatment.
However, other types of cancer treatments, such as radiation, may be used before
or after the surgery.
Palliative surgery is used to treat cancer at advanced stages. It does not work
to cure cancer, but to relieve discomfort clinical symptoms or to correct other
problems cancer or cancer treatment may have created.
Preventive surgery is used to remove tissue that does not contain cancerous
cells, but may develop into a malignant tumor. For example, polyps in the colon
may be considered precancerous tissue and preventative surgery may be performed
to remove them.
Diagnostic surgery helps to determine whether cells are malignant. Diagnostic
surgery is used to remove a tissue sample for pathological evaluation to confirm
a diagnosis, identify the type of a malignant disease, or determine the stage of
Debunking surgery removes a portion, though not all, of a tumor. It is used in
certain situations when removing an entire tumor may cause damage to an organ or
the body. Clinically, it is uncommonly used.
Supportive surgery is similar to palliative surgery because it does not work to
cure cancer. Instead, it helps other cancer treatments work effectively. An
example of supportive surgery is the insertion of a catheter to an artery for
chemotherapy or a feeding tube to stomach for nutrition.
This surgery technique uses extremely cold temperatures (-196oC) to
kill cancer cells. Cryosurgery is used most often with skin cancer and cervical
cancer. Depending on whether the tumor is inside or outside the body, liquid
nitrogen is placed on the skin or in an instrument called a cryoprobe which is
inserted into the body so that it touches the tumor. Cryosurgery is being
evaluated as a surgical treatment for several types of cancers.
This technique uses beams of light energy instead of instruments to remove very
small cancers (without damaging surrounding tissue), to shrink or destroy
tumors, or to activate photo-sensitizer drugs to kill cancer cells. Laser
surgery is a very precise procedure that can be used to treat areas of the body
that are difficult to reach including the skin, cervix, rectum, and larynx due
to the laser fibers are flexible.
Though science and medical technology have made surgery a safe and reliable
treatment option, there is always the risk of potential problems and side
effects. In many cases, however, the positive effects of surgery outweigh the
risks. This is one of the reasons why learning about your cancer and cancer
treatment is important. The more you know about surgery for cancer, the more
informed your choices will be. Be sure to discuss the potential complications
with your cancer care team prior to undergoing treatment.
Chemotherapy is one of major cancer treatments and it has cured many patients
with cancer, leukemia or lymphoma. The chemotherapy for cancer treatment has
been extensively studied for over 50 years.
Chemotherapy is the
use of powerful chemical drugs that can attack and kill cancer cells. These
drugs run through the bloodstream killing rapidly growing cells, including both
cancer cells and normal cells.
Cancer chemotherapy drugs can be administered into an artery, a vein and muscle
or taken by mouth. To reach the best treatment result, chemotherapy is usually
used in the combination with surgery and
Chemotherapy has serious side-effects. Although chemotherapy kills fast-growing
cancer cells, it kills many types of fast-growing healthy cells, for examples,
mucosal cells in digestive system and urinary bladder system, that can cause
bleeding from the above tissues and organs; and damaging to bone marrow and
immune system, that causes lower counts of white blood cells and platelets, and
immune cells such as lymphocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells and NK cells. In
addition, the adverse effects of chemotherapeutic drugs include fatigue, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, mucositis, anemia, hematuria, heart damage,
neuropathy, alopecia and allergic and so on.
Radiation is one of the 5 common forms of treatment used to fight cancers. It
can be used alone or in combination with other forms of treatment. Cancer
radiation treatments can also be called x-ray therapy, cobalt therapy, electron
beam therapy or irradiation.
Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and
prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading. Radiation can be given
externally or internally with the external beam being the most common type of
Radiation therapy is an effective way to treat many kinds of tumor from
breast cancer to
Half of all people being treated for cancer use radiation therapy as a treatment
and the number of cancer patients who have been cured is on the rise every day.
For some patients, radiation might be the only form of treatment available to
them. Radiation is used alone or in the combination with surgery and
well as hormone therapy.
Patients who receive radiation treatments run the risk of normal cells being
destroyed along with cancer cells. When this occurs the patient will experience
side effects but the risk of side effects is less than the benefits of the
cancer cells being killed.
Herbal Cancer Treatment
early as more than 3,000 years ago, Chinese doctors had used herbs in treatment
of cancer patients. Herbal medicines divide into 3 categories.
The first is the Classic Chinese Medicines that include 265 kinds of medicinal
plants and a few of medicinal minerals that have been scientifically identified
and proven by clinic studies.
The second is the folk herbs (called the folk experienced herb recipe) that have
approximately 600 sorts.
The third is called hi-tech herbal medicine in which active ingredients in each
raw herb have been analyzed, identified and concentrated. Generally, the
therapeutic effect of hi-tech herbal medicines is about 10 to 20-fold more
powerful than raw herbs if they are formulated properly by an experienced herbal
doctor or herbal specialist.
All of cancer patients are advised to see their primary care physician or
oncologist before seeking an herbal doctor or herbal specialist or visit Herbal
Cancer Center. All of cancer patients should have asked their primary care
physician for a confirmed diagnosis by pathology, CT-scan or MRI or laboratory
a patient is suffering from an early stage of malignant disease or cancer
(Stages I and II), or the size of tumor is less than 30 mm (previously 50 mm) in
diameters, surgery and preventive chemotherapy are the first chosen. Sometimes,
radiotherapy should be considered if it is necessary.
the United States, herbal supplements and herbal treatment are still regarded as
alternative therapies. Therefore, herbal cancer treatment is indicated for:
Advanced stage of cancer patients who have been treated with Western medicine
and who had failed to Western medical treatments.
Patient still has a general good health and is able to talk, drink, walk, and
has good appetite and bowel movement, and normal function of heart, lung, liver
and kidneys because all of herbal remedies are only allowed to be taken by mouth
in the United States.
Patients should be confidence and open mind and have a positive thought of
long-term fight to cancer because herbal treatment is an integrating therapy, it
works on multiple systems and whole body, up-regulates patient¨s interiror
anti-cancer powers and factors.
Herbal treatment can heal some cancer patients but it cannot cure all kinds of
cancer patient due to different disease-stage, different patient¨s physical
condition and different professional levels of herbal doctors (some of them are
Generally speaking, compared to Western medicine the following malignant
diseases might obtain good therapeutic effect from herbal treatment, such as
breast cancer, lung cancer, cancer of liver, kidney, prostate, ovary and colon
rectum, leukemia and lymphoma. It is reported that many cases of such cancer
patients have been cured with experienced herbal doctors in China.
The FDA regulators face two main challenges during the approval process. First,
they must make sure the treatment is safe and effective. The second challenge is
to make promising treatments available as quickly as possible to the people who
need them the most.
They go on to use the example of Herceptin, a drug used to target a
protein called HER2 and kill the cells that contain cancer. New treatments such
as Herceptin must have the benefits of the use of the drug weighed against the
risks of side effects. This particular drug was proven to prolong the life of
women with breast cancer when used along with standard
Those that suffer from serious or life-threatening diseases can benefit from an
accelerated approval program that gives them earlier access to promising new
cancer drugs. One of these drugs is Iressa, which was approved as a
single agent treatment for those people with advanced non-small cell
lung cancer. Cancer
lung and bronchus
is the leading cause of cancer death in both sexes in the United States.
Beside those, Interleukin-2, an activator of T cells, has been used in
patients with melanoma, cancer of kidney and other malignant tumors at NIH
clinical trial group (Dr. Rosenberg) and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
of Harvard Medical School (Dr. James Mier). In these cases interleukin-2 therapy
gives about 15% to 18% of patient survival in the selected candidates.
addition, antibody therapy, fusion protein therapy, immune cell therapy, tumor
vaccine therapy and cancer gene therapy are promising in animal studies but they
are not really working in humans today (2006).
(Some paragraphs in this chapter are abstracted from the articles of American
Cancer Society website)