Procedures and Treatments
Cancer can be treated a variety of ways and will largely depend on the type of cancer a patient has, as well as stage, grade, and classifications of the cancer and the patient’s medical history. Treatment can, however, be placed into two broad categories: local (surgery and radiation therapy) and systemic (Chemotherapy, Hormonal therapy and targeted therapies).
Surgery is sometimes the best way to diagnose cancer, treat it and manage symptoms. Often, surgery is combined with other treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation. At Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville, distinguished specialists offer innovative surgical options, including minimally invasive procedures and highly precise robot-assisted surgery.
Medical oncology is the use of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or immunotherapy to treat cancer and its symptoms. Depending on the type of cancer, these treatments may be used in combination or with surgery or radiation:
- Chemotherapy: These drugs may be prescribed to kill cancer cells to keep them from spreading. Chemotherapy can be used before surgery to shrink a tumor, after surgery to kill remaining cancer cells and to help reduce symptoms. Chemotherapy may be delivered by mouth as a pill or liquid, by IV infusion in a vein, as a cream applied on the surface of the skin, or as an injection.
- Hormonal Therapy: Hormones travel throughout the body, regulating the activity or behavior of cells or organs. Hormonal therapy uses certain drugs to block, remove or alter the activity of hormones in order to slow or stop cancer cell growth. Hormonal therapy can be delivered by mouth as a pill, as an injection or as a surgical procedure to remove organs that produce hormones.
- Immunotherapy: Concentrated amounts of the body’s natural substances can sometimes help the immune system to fight certain cancers. Immunotherapy helps the body attack or combat cancer cells. It uses substances made by the body in a laboratory, which are injected or administered as an IV infusion.
Radiation oncology uses small doses of high-energy radiation can be effective in killing certain types of cancer cells, eliminating tumors, helping to keep cancer from reoccurring and relieve certain cancer symptoms. At Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville, we provide specialized radiation treatment including intensity modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy.