A malignant tumor or cancer refers to any rapidly multiplying mass of cells that spread to other parts of the body. Unlike benign tumors, these are difficult to treat and can also lead to death. If you have a malignant tumor you will be asked to take one or a combination of the following treatment methods.
In chemotherapy, anti-cancer drugs are administered to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. A single or a combination of drugs can be used. But the downside to chemotherapy is that even healthy cells that grow and multiply are affected. These are cells such as white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells. Even hair follicles and lining of the stomach are affected and that is why cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy lose hair and have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In this method, high energy rays such as x-rays, electron beams, gamma rays, and protons are used to destroy cancerous cells. They are more effective when given along with drugs called as radiosensitizers that improve the efficacy of the radiation.
In this method, the tumor and the surrounding tissues are surgically removed to alleviate the symptoms and to prevent the spreading to an extent.
- Targeted cancer therapy
Like chemotherapy, targeted cancer therapy also involves drugs. But in this method, drugs are used to target certain proteins and genes that are found only in the cancerous cells and not found in healthy cells. It is also used in conjunction with chemotherapy to be more effective.
- Biologic therapy
In biologic therapy, vaccines, bacteria and other substances derived from living organisms are used to treat cancer. As a result, the body’s own immune response is used to kill the cancer cells.