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October 28, 2016

Looking beyond the six-letter word

Focus on cancer and the many treatments.

This month we will focus on the dreaded disease, cancer. There are nearly as many treatments for cancer as there are types of cancer, making it one of the most complex and life-changing diagnoses possible.

Cancer Treatment - Printed Diagnosis on Green Background.

Cancer can begin in the lungs, the breasts, the colon or even in the bloodstream. It can stagnate in certain areas of the body or spread through the body, and the spreading can happen slowly or very rapidly. While cancers are alike in some ways, they can differ significantly in many others—including how they grow and spread.

Oncology research has advanced to the point that more people than ever before lead full lives after cancer treatment, but there is still not a definitive cure for cancer, and the multitude of treatment options further complicates managing the disease. In addition, cancer has become so common that doctors are often quick to diagnose it and treat the disease as if it is invasive or fast moving— which is not always the case.

It’s important to confirm your cancer is being treated appropriately as treatments vary widely, and can include traditional therapies (such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy), newer forms of treatment (clinical trials) and complementary or alternative therapies.

Cancer can be difficult to diagnose, and misdiagnosis is increasingly common. With treatments that include surgery and radiation therapy, the need for certainty in your diagnosis is imperative before you and your doctor can even determine an appropriate treatment method.