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... tumors that are too big to be surgically removed and to help destroy any cancer cells that may remain after surgery. Chemotherapy is 77 % effective in killing small cases of cancer (United States Cancer Patient Survival). If a cancer tumor can be located to a specific region, surgery is used to remove the tissue the cancer has infected.
Surgery is usually recommended for patients who have small cancer cells scattered throughout the body, and patients who have a single organ that is infected with the cancer. One of the main problems with surgery is that not all of the cancer may be removed. Some cancer cells are extremely small and may be overlooked during operation. Surgery is 69 % effective in removing the cancerous tumor (United States Cancer Prevention). Radiation treatment is by far the most dangerous treatment for cancer.
Radiation is used in high doses to kill cancer cells or to prevent them from growing and dividing. Radiation treatment is most often used for patients who have severe cases of cancer. The treatment is applied to the same location on the body every time treatment is administered. Radiation treatment rarely eliminates the cancerous tumor, but it is over 78 % effective in stunting the growth of the tumor (United States What You Need). 2 nd Criteria (Side Effects of Each Treatment) Chemotherapy side effects develop from the anticancer drugs reaction with fast-growing normal cells that surround the cancer cells. When chemotherapy is applied to the cancer cells it is currently impossible to avoid contact with the surrounding normal cells. Once the normal cells come in contact with the anticancer drugs numerous side effects can arise.
The fast-growing, normal cells most likely to be affected are blood cells forming in the bone marrow and cells in the digestive tract (mouth, stomach, intestines, esophagus), reproductive system, and hair follicles. Noticeable symptoms include: hair loss, anemia, infection, blood clotting, diarrhea, constipation, fluid retention, and flu-like symptoms. Usually most side effects are not long term and cease shortly after treatment has ended. For most patients, side effects last for 5 8 months. Although, some long-term problems can develop such as: permanent changes or damage to the heart, lungs, nerves, kidneys, reproductive or other organs. The side effects that arise from surgery treatment are minimal.
Most side effects develop from complications during the surgery. These complications can range from excess loss of blood to infections. The most common side effect of surgery is overlooking small cancer cells on the infected tissue. Usually these cells are treated by an alternate mean of treatment, chemotherapy or radiation. The side effects of surgery, if any, include the recovery time spent in the hospital. Surgery side effects last anywhere form 7 days to 2 months.
Radiation therapy has some of the same side effects as chemotherapy, depending on the area being treated. Radiation therapy affects the normal cells surrounding the infected cancerous cells. The normal cells affected are the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The effects of radiation therapy leave the body more susceptible to bacteria and viruses. Most of the side effects occur around the area of the body being treated and show up in the form of sores and bruises. The side effects are treated with medication and diet.
Side effects of radiation cease within 1 to 2 months after treatment. See Table 1, located after the Recommendations section, on page 8 for a complete listing of all side effects associated with cancer and their respective treatments. 3 rd Criteria (Cost of Each Treatment) The cost of chemotherapy includes the drugs administered to the patient and the hospital expenses. Chemotherapy expenses can range depending on the size of the cancer and the type of medication and outpatient therapy given to the patient. For small tumors, chemotherapy cost around $ 4, 500 per treatment (Monographs 20).
If chemotherapy is used with other treatments the cost for the chemotherapy is usually $ 2, 500. Surgery costs are based on the size and location of the cancer. The costs of surgery increase with the difficulty of removing the tumor and related tissue. Surgery costs also include hospital care and any additional medication received by the patient. Most surgery costs range from $ 4, 000 to $ 9, 000 per treatment (United States What You Need to). Radiation treatment cost is based on the number of treatments administered to the patient.
A person usually receives a total of 33 to 37 treatments. The treatments are given over a period of 2 to 3 months. Other costs associated with radiation treatment are outpatient and hospital care. The average cost for radiation treatment is $ 1, 500 per treatment. Based on the above set criteria and the solutions proposed, surgery, if possible, is the best treatment for cancer. Surgery is the most effective of the three treatments and it has the lowest risk of severe side effects.
Although somewhat costly, the comfort and reliability of surgery far outweigh the dividends. 1) More research is done on DNA/Gene therapy. The current treatments used for treating cancer are extremely costly and detrimental to human health. If a treatment can be developed that utilizes the bodys natural defenses instead of foreign drugs, effectiveness of treatment can be increased and the side effects greatly decreased. 2) Doctors concentrate on perfecting one form of cancer treatment. If most researchers concentrate their studies on perfecting one of the current treatments, a 100 % effective cure may be found. 3) Researchers develop a way to detect cancer in its early stages.
If there was a way for doctors to detect and diagnose cancer while it was in its early stages, the cancer could be eliminated before it spread throughout the body. The early detection of the cancer would not only increase the effectiveness of the treatments, but it would also reduce the number of side effects. Cancer has plagued mankind for the past 200, 000 years. With the rapid increase in human and scientific technology, cancer is no longer a disease that is associated with death. Although risky and somewhat costly, there are treatments for the disease. These treatments are as follows: chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.
Based on the efficiency, cost, and side effects of each treatment, surgery is the best alternative. Although the current treatments for cancer are not 100 % effective, scientists are currently developing new treatments such as DNA/Gene therapy that may alter the bodys immune system and therefore eliminate the cancer. Cancer: Is There an Effective Treatment? Table 1 - Side Effects of Cancer Treatment 1 Lymphedema is swelling caused by blocked lymph nodes. 2 Oral Complications include mouth sores, dry mouth, and bleeding gums. Bibliography: Bibliography Quality of Life in Clinical Cancer Trials. Monographs 20 (1996).
National Cancer Institute Economic Conference: The Integration of Economic Outcome Measures into NCI-Sponsored therapeutic Trials. Monographs 19 (1995). United States. National Cancer Institute. What You Need to Know about Prostate Cancer. Washington: GPO, 1997.
United States. National Institute of Health. Cancer Rates and Risks. Washington: GPO, 1996. United States. National Institute of Health.
We Need You to Make a Difference. Washington: GPO, 1997. United States. U. S.
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Cancer Patient Survival. Bethesda, MD: GPO, 1976. United States.
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Cancer Prevention. Washington: GPO, 1984.
United States. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Closing in on Cancer: Solving a 5000 Year Old Mystery. Washington: GPO, 1987.
United States. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Horizons of Cancer Research. Washington: GPO, 1995.
United States. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Radiation Therapy: A Treatment for Early Stage Cancer. Washington: GPO, 1991. United States. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
What You Need to Know About Cancer. Bethesda, MD: GPO, 1989.
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