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Articles: Science
About Cancer Treatment !!!
- Mr. Pamulaparti Venkata Phaneendra
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Cancer treatment There is no single treatment for cancer - doctors have a range of options available and must decide which is best for the patient. They will often combine several types of treatment for greater effect, taking into account all sorts of factors. For example, the patient's age, history and lifestyle are very important in deciding on the best treatment. Doctors will involve the patient in the decision as much as possible. 1) SURGERY 2) RADIOTHERAPY 3) CHEMOTHERAPY 4) HORMONE THERAPY 5) IMMUNOTHERAPY 6) GENE THERAPY 1) Surgery For many centuries, surgery was the only treatment for cancer. The famous 18th century surgeon, John Hunter, suggested that surgery might cure cancer if the tumour had not invaded the surrounding tissue. He remarked that 'if the tumour is moveable... there is no impropriety in removing it'. But early surgery was a risky procedure. Pain, infection and haemorrhage limited its usefulness and success until anaesthetics were discovered in the 1840s. In 1846, John Collins Warren performed what is thought to be the first major cancer operation under general anaesthesia - the removal of a patient's cancerous salivary glands. The next century saw rapid progress and is often referred to as 'the century of the surgeon'. These advances led to a large increase in the number of people who survived surgery. The development of antiseptic techniques by Joseph Lister in 1867, the ability to transfuse blood in the 1930s and the discovery of antibiotics in the 1940s are all landmarks in the history of surgery. The field of cancer surgery, or 'surgical oncology', grew in line with these advances. Pioneering work by Theodore Billroth in Austria between 1860 and 1890 led to the first successful operations to remove the stomach, voicebox and foodpipe. In the USA in 1889, William Halsted noticed that breast cancer recurred more often in women who had had their tumour removed but not the surrounding tissue. He developed a technique called the 'radical mastectomy', the surgical removal of the tumour, breast, overlying skin and muscle. This procedure remained the mainstay of breast cancer treatment until very recently. Nowadays, the use of chemo- and radiotherapy, and the ability to diagnose breast cancer earlier thanks to screening programmes, means that radical mastectomy can often be avoided.

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