Cancer is one of the most significant health problems of the modern society. Annually, various types of cancer threaten or take the lives of thousands of people. As cancer is an extremely complex disease, the modern medical professionals attempt to provide a multidimensional care of cancer that is based on the collaboration of a number of different practitioners and spheres of knowledge. Besides, the treatment is to view the patient as a whole person and put them in the center of care.
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The contemporary oncologists address and assess cancer working in teams. The collaboration of such professionals as the medical oncologist, naturopathic oncology provider, radiology specialist, surgeon, dietitian, clinic nurse and the manager of nurse care provision, to name a few, is designed to build up a patient-centered approach to cancer care (Our Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Cancer Care, 2016). The cooperative actions ensure better understanding and coordination between the doctors, and a greater level of efficiency. Moreover, this collaborative approach maximizes the comfort of the patient eliminating the need to travel from one office to another. Instead, the doctors contact and visit the patient one by one sharing the results and information for higher convenience. Finally, this type of care for cancer facilitates the empowerment of the patient and stimulates their will and desire to fight the disease and recover as soon as possible. The multidimensional approach to the care of cancer is flexible and allows combining the main treatment with the solutions provided by the complementary and alternative medicine (Geffen, 2010).
The diagnosing process for cancer involves a procedure called biopsy that requires that a sample of tissue is collected from the patient’s body. The biopsy may be conducted with a help of a needle or an endoscope to collect tissue. A more invasive approach includes surgery of incisional or excisional character. The samples of tissue of a cell are then examined with the help of a microscope. Also, there are situations, when the pathologists who are in charge of the procedure have to conduct tests on the DNA, RNA of the cells, or their proteins (How is cancer diagnosed?, 2016). In many cases, tumors are found during physical exams, palpation, or imaging tests. However, all of these lumps are to be tested properly before the final diagnosis. Statistically, most of the tumors detected by the doctors are not identified as cancer (How is cancer diagnosed?, 2016). In addition, the doctors conduct a series of lab tests to find out whether the observed symptoms occur due to cancer or some other reason. As a result, the tests of body fluids are assigned to measure the levels of certain substances (NIH, 2015). Also, to have a better vision of the detected tumor, the doctors order imaging procedures that may involve MRI, PET and CT scans, X-rays, ultrasound, and nuclear scan.
Staging of cancer is a necessary procedure that is needed to help the doctors determine the amount of cancer in a body of a patient, the developmental pace of cancer and for how long it has been in the body, and where exactly it is situated (American Cancer Society, 2016). Staging is highly important as it helps the doctors to identify the future treatment along with the procedures they might use. Besides, it allows them forming a prognosis as to the possibility of recovery, and how much time the treatment could take. The stages of cancer also identify the level of its extent in the body and are used by the medical professionals to refer to the amount of damage they would need to handle. The treatment methods vary from one stage to another, and are mostly similar for the cancers of the same stage.
For instance, if a patient is at an early stage of cancer, their treatment may be based on radiation or include an excisional surgery, whereas chemotherapy is the type of treatment for the individuals whose cancer is at more advanced stages (American Cancer Society, 2016). Moreover, using the information concerning the stage of cancer, the doctors are able to make a prognosis about the development of the disease that is most likely to happen in the future. Besides, staging is crucial for the process of testing the efficiency of various cancer treatments. By means of grouping the cases with cancers at the same stage, the researchers are able to determine which procedures prove to be the most and the least effective comparing their outcomes.
While staging cancer, a doctor begins by examining the first tumor and checking the area around it to see whether or not the tumor has grown in size of if additional tumors have appeared. Besides, the doctor examines the lymph nodes that are close to the first tumor in order to find out if cancer has spread there. This procedure is based on the knowledge that it is typical for the cancers to penetrate lymph nodes or areas around before starting to affect other organs. Also, cancers have a tendency to spread to the organs and body parts that are far away from the primary tumor, and that is why the doctors would examine them as well. This process is referred to as metastasis.
There are two types of staging for cancer – clinical and pathologic. Clinical staging relies on the results of biopsies, lab tests of body fluids, and imaging tests such as scans and X-rays) (American Cancer Society, 2016). Staging of this type is vital during the process of examination and identification of the future treatment options. Besides, clinical staging of cancer allows the doctors to follow the development of cancer and its response to the measures they take to cure it. Pathologic staging involves the information the doctors acquire in the process of surgery. Operating on a patient, the surgeons get a clear view of the tumor and whether or not it has spread and how far. This type of staging is also referred to as the surgical staging, and it provides the most relevant and recent information about the tumor. In some cases, the results and projects the doctors have before the operation may not match the information they find out during the operation. For instance, the surgeons may notice that cancer has spread further than they had anticipated.
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To sum up, treatment and care of cancer are extremely complex processes that vary from a patient to a patient and require the participation of multiple professionals at the same time. The results they collect, the procedures they conduct, and the prospects they make are to be shared between them so that the team works in coordination and collaborates effectively for the benefit of the patient.
American Cancer Society. (2016). Cancer Staging. Web.
Geffen, J. (2010). Integrative Oncology for the Whole Person: A Multidimensional Approach to Cancer Care. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 9(1) 105–121.
How is cancer diagnosed? (2016). Web.
Our Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Cancer Care. (2016). Web.
NIH. (2015). Diagnosis. Web.