The effectiveness of treatments for advanced cancer has significantly increased over time. Some patients have access to new treatments, such as immunotherapy and targeted therapies, and methods of administering existing treatments, like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, have also improved. During and after treatment, supportive care therapies may assist patients in coping with side effects and enhancing their quality of life.
Receiving the news that you or a loved one has advanced cancer or receiving an advanced cancer diagnosis may be frightening. Questions like “What should I do next? How can I be treated, and what options do I have? “may come to your mind if you find yourself in this predicament.
The circumstances of every patient are different, so you should talk with your doctor about your options. However, there might be additional treatments for advanced cancer available to you depending on your clinical situation. This article is entirely dedicated to advanced cancer and the available therapies.
What is late-stage or advanced cancer?
Advanced cancer can be defined as cancer that has grown despite treatment, spread to other body parts, produced secondary tumors, or returned following a period of remission. In these cases, it’s possible that cancer has spread after conventional treatment options have been exhausted.
Some patients receive initial diagnoses for cancers that are regarded as advanced. When cancer is initially diagnosed, it may be classified as stage 3 or stage 4 cancer. It may also be classified as stage 4 cancer if there is evidence that the cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body.
While some patients with advanced cancer may experience few symptoms and continue to feel healthy despite the disease’s progression, other patients may experience symptoms that have a significant negative impact on their quality of life. Clinical status may not be as important to a patient as how they feel physically and how they are handling their circumstances.
Available Treatment Options for Advanced Cancer:
When treating advanced cancer, multidisciplinary care is often required. Patients frequently require a combination of treatment options. For instance, chemotherapy may be necessary before surgery for a patient with locally advanced breast cancer in an effort to shrink the tumor. This might facilitate surgery and enable the surgeon to perform a lumpectomy rather than a total mastectomy in order to preserve a portion of the breast. The patient might require radiation therapy, additional chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or even a combination of these treatments after surgery.
At SPDT4Life, we employ a multidisciplinary team approach to examine these elements and develop a personalized treatment plan based on the particular circumstances and clinical requirements of each patient. The list of therapies for advanced cancer that follows is not exhaustive, but these therapies are frequently applied singly or in combination to try to manage advanced cancer. You should talk to your care team about your specific options.
One of the most widely used treatments for advanced cancer is chemotherapy. It can also be applied to treat symptoms. As part of a more comprehensive treatment plan, chemotherapy may be combined with other treatments or administered in a variety of drug combinations.
Radiation therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments to try to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Technological advancements enable radiation oncologists to deliver a more precise dose of external beam radiation to cancerous tissues while sparing healthy tissue. The toxicities and side effects of radiation therapy could be lessened by this more precise delivery. Through the use of a catheter or other implanted device placed inside or close to a tumor, internal radiation therapy enables the delivery of radiation in the proper doses. In contrast to traditional radiation therapy, which lasts for weeks, this method frequently only needs a few sessions.
After a cancer diagnosis, surgery may be the first course of treatment, but it may also be an option for treating more advanced cancer. Surgery for advanced cancer may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Additionally, tumors and other pain-causing obstructions may be removed through surgery. The quality of life for patients after this palliative procedure could be enhanced.
Immunotherapy is a cutting-edge form of precision medicine that activates the immune system to combat cancer cells that the body has been unable to recognize as a threat.
One of the more promising treatments for advanced cancer in patients with certain types of cancer is immunotherapy. Consider lung cancer as an example. Patients with advanced lung cancer previously had few treatment options and a poor prognosis. However, thanks to advances in the field of oncology, there are now many treatment options available. Some patients who have received this therapy have lived for years, and a few have been able to discontinue treatment and continue to do well.
Targeted therapies, such as immunotherapy, target specific characteristics of cancer that are driving its growth, such as proteins, receptors, hormones, or genetic mutations. Instead of directly killing cancer cells, these medications frequently aim to stop the disease from spreading.
If your cancer demonstrates any of these traits, genetic and advanced genomic testing may help you determine which targeted therapies or other treatments would be most effective for you. Instead of treating cancer-based on where it originated, we are now able to use targeted therapies that have been shown to be effective against those particular mutations. Monoclonal antibodies, hormone therapy, and small molecule drugs are examples of targeted therapies for advanced cancer treatment.
If you want to get a second opinion or just talk with someone at SPDT4Life about treatment options for advanced cancer, call us at +86 20 3779 357. We are here to help you fight cancer.