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Cancer Treatments in Salinas

Leading-Edge Cancer Care

Doctors and medical researchers have many ways to battle cancer. For most, treating cancer requires a multimodality approach involving a combination of various treatments. When deciding how to fight cancer, doctors take into consideration a patient’s overall health, how aggressive the cancer is, and the severity the side effects will have.

Cancer treatment can include:

  • Surgery – An effective form of cancer treatment is removing the affected area before the cells have a chance to spread. In most cases, this should be done in conjunction with other treatments to completely destroy any lingering microscopic cancer cells. Surgery can also be used to diagnose cancer or track how far a tumor has spread. Biopsies are the most common diagnostic surgical procedure for cancer.
  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is a type of drug therapy to kill malignant tumor cells. Chemotherapy is highly effective, but the medications have a difficult time differentiating healthy cells from cancerous ones, resulting in them killing both indiscriminately. Thankfully, medications and treatments have been developed to help patients manage chemotherapy side effects.
  • Radiation therapy – This treatment is most often used when cancer is still confined to one spot. The affected area is blasted with radiation that destroys the cancer cells. Sometimes this therapy is enough to cure cancer by itself, but most often it is used in addition to chemotherapy and surgery. Destroying so many cancer cells at once helps ease the burden of the side effects of the disease.
  • Hormonal therapy – Certain forms of cancer like prostate and breast cancer may be spread more rapidly by the body’s hormones. Hormone therapy hinders the production of these hormones to give the body a better chance at fighting the cancer. This is a systemic treatment that can damage cancer cells throughout the entire body.
  • Targeted therapy – One of the main issues in cancer treatment is that the methods used to destroy cancer also harm healthy cells, resulting in detrimental side effects. Targeted therapy uses techniques that specifically target cancer and cancer alone. This form of treatment improves a patient’s quality of life while fighting cancer.
  • Biological therapy – Your body’s immune system is one of the most powerful weapons against disease you have. Biotherapy strengthens the body’s defenses through antibodies, vaccines, and various proteins and nutrients. The introduction of these substances teaches the body’s immune system how to better fight cancer.
  • Stem cell transplants – This treatment is highly effective with minimal side effects. Stem cells are “copycat” cells that take on the function of the cells around them. Cancer is a constant battle between cells, and introducing stem cells is a way to give your body extra soldiers to fight the disease.

Find the Treatment That’s Right for You

The exact form a patient’s cancer takes differs from one person to the next. Treatment needs to be customized to counteract the methods it is using to hurt your body. Work closely with your doctors, tell them your concerns about side effects and ask them about various types of treatments. At Salinas Valley Health, our staff knows the importance of listening closely to patients to create a treatment plan that will best accommodate their lifestyle and recovery.