With the advancements in medical technology and cancer diagnosis and management, patients now have a number of options when it comes to treatments. This gives you much breathing room to check out and make a decision – along with your primary doctor – on what will be the best treatment for you. On the other hand, since there are quite a number of treatments available, you will need to thoroughly weigh your options before deciding on which ones to go for.
Here are some of the factors that you need to consider before deciding what treatment will work best for you:
- Coping skills
Since the battle against cancer is a serious matter, you must gauge yourself in terms of how you can cope with an in-depth diagnosis and prolonged treatment plans. In addition, handling the situation is not between you and the doctor during the course of the treatment. Cancer is a big thing in society, and when you are diagnosed with the disease, you also need to manage your personal feelings as well as of those around you. The onset of depression during treatment is a big risk. Treatment plans are most often put up with how well you can cope with your situation in mind.
- Understanding the risks
While technology may have already advanced enough that terminal risks are mitigated, there are other perils in cancer treatment, and you must ready yourself for those. For example, you must understand that even with the best treatment plans, there is always the danger of recurrence, though it can easily be mitigated with a combination of medical and alternative treatments.
- Time management
Most treatment plans take time, so you must check it if you can devote the proper amount of time for a lengthy, yet stable rehabilitation like chemotherapy. On the other hand, those who like to use their time on other matters yet still want an effective cancer treatment plan can go straight to quick interventions such as major surgeries.
How you live your life will drastically change after a cancer diagnosis, and you must be ready for the changes. For example, most treatment plans affect palate, so you tend to lose appetite from time to time. However, instead of continuing with your daily, regular diet, you must learn to switch to health-based foods since this will also be a factor in the treatment’s success.
Although you may have opted for quick interventions like surgeries, a successful cancer management often involves careful and active monitoring. The time you will spend in treatment starting from the diagnosis to cancer remission is lengthy, and you will need to be patient all throughout. Though it may seem a bit tedious, you will also need to come back to your doctor for regular updates over a long period of time, just to mitigate the risk of cancer spreading to the other parts of your body.
A serious, all-encompassing disease
Cancer is not just one particular disease since it can start in any part of the body and then spread and complicate the entire structure. Generally put, cancer is a disease wherein cells in the body keep on growing and do not die, and in time, go out of control. These cancerous cells blot out normal cells, those that divide and regularly die. Since it goes out of control, cancer can literally spread to other parts of the body. For example, if you are initially diagnosed with lung cancer, you need to be aware that you are also at risk of developing other types of cancers.
Although cancer is characterized as “abnormal cells,” there are different types of cancer disorders in the body, and each having similarities and differences. Normally, cancers are typed depending on where they start, though once it spreads out, you will most likely develop the other types almost at the same time.
Whatever type of cancer it is, the disease is considered to be one of the serious threats in the medical community. According to the data by the National Cancer Institute, for this year, a projected 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States alone, with 595,690 people dying from the disease.
Even in a statistics overview, cancer is still deadly. The rate of mortality for cancer patients is 171.2 per 100,000 patients. In this data, cancer mortality is higher in men than in women. Meanwhile, about 39.6 percent of men and women in the U.S. today will be diagnosed with cancer sometime in the future.
Teens and kids are not immune to cancer, too. Data from 2014 indicated that an estimated 15,780 teens and children, ages 0-19 years, were diagnosed with cancer. Of these, 1,960 were terminally ill.
Cancer is also one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Out of 14 million cancer patients in 2012, 8.2 million cancer-related deaths occurred globally. Out of these data, more than 60 percent of new cancer cases are diagnosed in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, with 70 percent of projected cases also leading to death in these regions. Though different interventions are already being sought, it is projected that the number of new cancer cases will increase to 22 million in the next 20 years.
Treatment and management
However, not all is lost in the battle against cancer. With the advancements in cancer management, as well as the rise of alternative treatment that complements medical therapy, most people have positive chances of survival today when compared to previous years. Treatment and medical management for cancer diseases have been well-organized that the number of patients expected to lead normal lives beyond cancer diagnosis and treatment reached nearly 14.5 million in 2014 alone. The figures are expected to rise up to at least 19 million survivors by 2024.