We provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan, carefully factoring in the all the specific variables; including the type of cancer, the age and overall condition of the patient and the overall goal of treatment. This complex approach has a profound impact on outcome.
Cancer treatment involves different modalities (surgery, radiation therapy and medical management) directed at destroying cancer cells in different parts of the body. One or more modalities may be used together (concurrently) or in sequence to achieve the desired goal. This is referred to as multi-modality approach to cancer. The medical management is usually complex and involves several different substances, each interfering with the growth and spread of the cancer at various biological levels.
Preparing for treatment is important, and can even help minimize the harshness of side effects. Learn how to prepare for treatment here »
for personal treatment plans:
Type and characteristics of the cancer: Different types (lung, breast, colon, etc) of cancers respond to different drugs. Therefore, different combinations of drugs may be used for different types of cancers. The specific characteristics of the cancer allow clinicians to make a better assessment of its behavior and its likely response to specific types of treatments. For example, the expression of certain proteins on the surface of cancer cells, such as hormone receptors or certain antigens, may allow the incorporation of drugs specifically designed to interact with and affect these proteins’ ability to control cancer growth. Other drugs interfere with a specific cellular growth pathway or immune modulatory pathway making the cancer cells more susceptible to self-destruct. Factoring these characteristics into the treatment plan has the promise of improved clinical outcomes.
Patient’s age and overall condition: Adequate function of the liver and kidney are important for the safe administration of most chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, treatment choices are made based on the health profile of the patient.
Goal of treatment: Depending upon individual situations, the goal of treatment may vary from cure, to keeping the cancer from spreading to relieving symptoms. These goals may change with time, clinical assessment and especially through discussions with the patient and their family. Cancer treatment must be regarded as a partnership between patient and medical professionals. Therefore it is of utmost importance that information is adequately and appropriately shared with the patient and their caretakers as to allow them to make the best decision for their medical care.