Colon cancer is a very fatal disease, in particular, if diagnosed too late. However, treatment success for those who suffer from disease has increased, as has the survival rate. This is due to early prevention along with the development of new therapies for colon cancer. In fact, many early diagnosed colon cancer patients, if treated promptly, are reported to achieve a full recovery from the disease.
The course of therapy varies in different patients regarding the treatment of colon cancer. There are a number of factors that are considered including the state of health of patients and the location and the size of the tumor as well as the severity of colon cancer that are considered by Oncologists (doctors specialized in cancer diagnosis and treatment) in choosing a therapy. The three primary colon cancer treatments include surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. As the case may be, a combination of these treatments may be employed for the patient.
For early stages of colon cancer (Stage 0 & Stage I), surgery is the treatment of choice. These are the stages wherein cancer is confined locally and has affected a small portion of the colon only. The procedure may range from polypectmy to partial colectomy. Polypectomy is the surgical removal of a polyp in the colon and it is even possibly done during colonoscopy as long as the tumor (polyp) is small enough. On the other hand, partial colectomy is the resection of the affected portion of the colon and adjacent lymph nodes. The two procedures discussed do not require any other additional treatment like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The surgery alone can successfully eradicate the disease with a good prognosis as long as the malignant tissues were completely removed. (more…)
Complementary and alternative medicine are of such interest to the medical community that the National Institutes of Health has an entire agency devoted to scientific research into these non-conventional treatments. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) uses scientific research to explore complementary and alternative healing practices, including natural remedies and other practices mentioned below.
The term alternative medicine refers to health care practices that are used in place of conventional medicine. For example, using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing radiation or chemotherapy is alternative medicine. Complementary medicine is not the same as alternative medicine. Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine. Using dietary supplements for diabetes in addition to conventional medical treatment is an example of complementary medicine.
Complementary and alternative medicine includes a variety of medical systems. Eastern cultures have used traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and acupuncture for centuries. Homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine are newer alternative medical systems.
Mind-body medicine uses techniques such as meditation, art, mental healing, and dance to enhance the mind’s ability to affect the functioning and healing of the body. Clinical depression sometimes responds well to these techniques.
Dietary supplements, herbs, and vitamins are natural remedies used in both complementary and alternative therapies. For example, research shows that leaves and flowers of the hawthorn tree are safe and effective for treating mild heart failure. Flaxseed oil is used to treat arthritis, while ginger relieves pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. NCCAM continues to study the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on heart disease. (more…)