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Supportive care and treatment for cancer patients

Jun
22

Date: June 22nd, 2014

How cancer is diagnosed

Typical screening measures like routine self exam can help detect many types of cancer before they become serious like those of the breast, skin, mouth, prostate, and rectum and prostate. Detection of most cancer types is usually done after the tumor can now be felt or when symptoms start developing. There are cases where diagnosis of cancer is done incidentally after evaluation and treatment of other health conditions even though such cases are quite few.

Diagnosing cancer starts by undertaking a thorough examination and checking the medical history. Studying stool, blood and urine in the lab can help detect abnormalities, which could be an indicator of cancer. Upon suspicion of a tumor, doctors are able to identify the size and location of the cancer through imaging tests like magnetic resonance, computed tomography and X- rays. Performing a biopsy is essential for confirmation of such diagnosis where the doctor gets a tissue from the tumor and studies it. Studying of cancer cells is done under a microscope.

Where the diagnosis reveals that cancer is indeed present, the doctor will perform other tests to get information that is more specific regarding the cancer. Most importantly, the doctor will want to know the stage of the cancer and if it has already spread to other parts of the body. Further tests are necessary even if the first diagnosis reveals negative results for cancer. In case the biopsy confirms that you have cancer, it is always important that you consult a cancer treatment specialist before you start taking any treatment or drugs.

Treatment and support for cancer

The treatment option chosen majorly depends on the stage and type of cancer and this aims at retarding its growth or eradicating the tumor. Treatment may include a combination of radiation therapy, surgery, immunotherapy or hormone therapy and chemotherapy. This treatment should be accompanied by supportive care from professionals and family members/ friends to facilitate the process of healing. The main goal of cancer support is relieving pain and symptoms of cancer, improving life quality, maintaining general health and providing psychological, logistical and emotional support not just to the patients but to their families as well. This kind of care and support is given by people with basic life support certification and other qualifications.

After curative treatment, a similar kind of support should also be provided for rehabilitating patients. Supportive therapy like hospice care is essential for patients who are nearing their lives as this helps them to get relief from irreversible symptoms and pain. A typical treatment center will provide a wide range of resources aimed at providing the patients with the best kind of care. This kind of supportive care can also be availed by complimentary cancer therapies that are provided outside hospitals. Cancer patients are also encouraged to exercise a lot.

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