Oncology (All Cancers)
Oncology is a specialty medicine dealing with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various types of cancer. Patients suffering from cancer may need one or more than one kind of treatment depending upon the type and stage of cancer. We, at Springmedo, assist you with all kinds of oncology-related services from screening, diagnosis and treatment in renowned facilities. In the sections below let us have a glance at various cancer treatments that we provide support for.
Various types of Cancer Treatments at our partner hospital
Surgery in oncology treatment means the removal of cancer affected parts from the body. This is mainly done by specialist oncologists using regional or general anesthesia. Surgeries can be open or minimally invasive. Other types of cancer surgery that do not involve cuts or wounds include the following:
In this surgery, supercooled liquid nitrogen or argon gas is applied to destroy cancer tissues. This is applicable for treating initial stage skin cancer, precancerous growths in the cervix or skin and retinoblastoma.
Powerful laser beams are used to remove the specific tissue especially the inner linings of the organs. Because of the highly focused nature of the laser beam, the surgery can be very precise without affecting other areas. It is also applied to destroy or shrink tumors that may turn cancerous. Laser surgery is applied to treat cervical, esophageal, vaginal and non-small cell lung cancer.
It is another oncology treatment using high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. Two types of radiation therapy are used – external beam and internal. The type of radiation therapy to be applied depends on the type of cancer, size, and location of the tumor, general health condition, and other factors.
External radiation therapy
It is delivered from a machine and treats a specific part of the body that is affected. Many types of cancer are treated with external radiation therapy.
Internal radiation therapy
Here the source of radiation either a solid or liquid is put into your body via ribbons, capsules, seeds, or IV injection. Internal radiation therapy with a solid source is known as brachytherapy that helps in localized treatment. Brachytherapy is applied to treat cancer in the head, neck, prostate, breast, cervix and eye.
Commonly known as Chemo, in chemotherapy special drugs are used to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Apart from treating cancer, chemo drugs also help in easing cancer symptoms. Chemotherapy is applied to treat varied types of cancer. Some patients may receive only chemotherapy or in combination with other cancer treatments. When applied in combination with other therapies, chemotherapy can shrink a tumor before surgery or radiation therapy, which is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Destroying cancer cells with chemo after surgery or radiation therapy is called adjuvant chemotherapy.
It takes a targeted approach by studying specific DNA changes and proteins leading to cancer. It helps in designing treatments targeted towards these proteins. Targeted therapies are given through either small-molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies. Targeted therapy interferes with specific tumor-enhancing proteins and fights cancer in many ways. They kill cancer cells or stop them from growing, block signals that help in creating tumor blood vessels, starve cancer cells by cutting off the hormone supply or deliver toxins in combination with radiation therapy or chemo to destroy cancer cells.
Oncologists select specific cancer treatments based on the understanding of the patient’s genetic makeup to make the treatment more efficacious. This is a more advanced oncology treatment based on the DNA sequencing of the patient’s genome. This is done during biopsy where the genes responsible for the cancer are identified. Not all cancer patients are suitable for precision medicine unless the specific genetic change to be targeted by precision medicine is found in the patient.
Stem Cell Transplant
Stem cell transplants may be required to restore the depleted blood cells caused by radiation or chemotherapy. Healthy blood-producing cells are transferred through IV injection that travel to the bone marrow and start producing blood cells. Stem cell transplants can be autologous taken from the patient himself, allogeneic (meaning coming from a donor) or syngeneic (coming from identical twins).
In this type of oncology treatment, the body’s immune system is boosted to fight cancer. Typically, the immune cells in our body aptly detect any abnormal and foreign cells and destroy them protecting us from deadly diseases. Immunotherapy is administered through oral pills, IV injection, topical application, or intravesical mode.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
These are drugs to block immune checkpoints making the immune cells respond strongly to cancer cells.
T-Cell transfer therapy
T-cells collected from the tumor are engineered in a lab to make them more enable to fight cancer. Cells are engineered in large batches and re-inserted in the body through needle injection. It is also known as adoptive cell therapy, immune cell therapy or adoptive immunotherapy.
These are lab-generated immune proteins designed to get attached to specifically targeted cancer cells so that they become visible and can be destroyed by the immune system.
Immune system modulators
These also enhance the body’s immune response system to fight cancer. Some of them are modulated to affect specific parts of the immune system while others work in a more general way.
Also known as hormonal therapy or endocrine therapy, it stops or slows the growth of cancer that needs hormones to grow. It is normally applied to treat breast and prostate cancers often in combination with other treatments. It is given to the patient in the form of oral pills, injection, or surgeries (e.g. removal of ovaries or testicles).