Cancer Treatment Options
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, you want to receive the best cancer treatment in Atlanta. You will find that at DeKalb Medical. The primary focus of the physicians and staff at DeKalb Medical Cancer Center is to provide superb patient service, care and cancer treatment options using the most innovative technological resources available.
The following list outlines the various types of cancer treatments available at DeKalb Medical. These include surgical options as well as types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Click on each link below to learn more.
Creating a Cancer Survival Game Plan
Our four-phase approach helps you and your family navigate through the cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery process. You are the one who will physically, emotionally and spiritually experience this journey with your loved ones and the more you understand and participate in your cancer care, the more you become an integrated part of your oncology healthcare team.
The "TEAM PLAN" consists of four basic elements, all of which the Patient Care Counselors will help you navigate:
- Take time to process the reality of your diagnosis and the emotions surrounding it.
- Educate yourself and your caretakers about your disease.
- Assess your social, emotional and spiritual support network.
- Build a relationship with a medical team that you have confidence in, and which makes you feel comfortable.
At times, your cancer care team may ask additional medical specialists to join your team and provide you with the most comprehensive cancer care and cancer treatment options possible. DeKalb Medical has a weekly meeting in which specialists from all clinical areas involved in the continuum of cancer care can discuss oncology cases and share opinions about the best course of action for a particular patient’s cancer care. Read more about our Weekly Cancer Tumor Conference.
What are the different kinds of cancer treatment options?
After diagnosis, you are likely to be overwhelmed by questions about cancer treatment options. Here is an overview of the basics that can help you make informed decisions. The three most common types of cancer treatment options are surgery, radiation oncology and chemotherapy. Cancer treatment is aimed at removing the cancer cells or destroying them in the body through surgical removal, medicines proven to impact cancer cells, and/or radiation therapy meticulously planned to destroy cancer cells while avoiding healthy tissue. Sometimes these cancer treatment options are used in combination to achieve the greatest impact on these destructive cells.
What are other kinds of cancer treatment options?
Another kind of cancer treatment option is biological therapy, also known as immunotherapy. This cancer treatment option uses proteins to trigger the body's immune system to produce more white blood cells (or lymphocytes). Two lymphocytes that can attack and kill cancer cells are the T-cell and the B-cell. The proteins boost the ability of the T-cell and B-cell lymphocytes to kill cancer. Biological therapy can also be used in combination with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Biological therapy often can lessen the side effects of other kinds of cancer treatment options.
There are six types of biological therapy. These include:
- Interferons –a group of three proteins released by white blood cells in reaction to invading organisms that improve the immune system's reaction to cancer
- Interleukins – proteins that increase growth and activity in the body's immune cells
- Monoclonal Antibodies – designed to attack specific areas on the surface of cells, known as antigens, which help the body identify cells that are foreign (like cancer cells) and stimulate an immune response
- Vaccines – help the body to recognize cancer cells and prompt the immune system to attack them
- Colony Stimulating Factors – increase the division of bone marrow cells, which strengthens the immune system and allows patients to tolerate higher doses of chemotherapy
- Other Molecular Targets and Enzyme Inhibitors – personalize treatment with specific enzymes or targets on cancer cells
For more detailed information on biological therapy, visit the American Cancer Society website at www.cancer.org and click on treatment options.
Hormone therapy is often used to treat breast or prostate cancer. The hormone estrogen can make breast cancer tumors grow faster. Similarly, the hormone testosterone can make cancerous tumors in the prostate grow faster. Drugs that contain hormone blockers may be used to oppose the effects of estrogen and testosterone. Hormone therapy is often used in addition to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
For some types of cancer (such as some types of lymphoma and multiple myeloma), a stem cell transplant may be recommended. Stem cell transplantation is used to replenish blood cells destroyed by high dose chemotherapy.
Other specialized cancer treatment options may be available, depending on the type of cancer involved. For more information, call the DeKalb Medical Cancer Center at 404.501.EASY.