29 March 2019

4 Other Ways to Treat Cancer If Chemotherapy Is Not Effective

4 Other Ways to Treat Cancer If Chemotherapy Is Not Effective
4 Other Ways to Treat Cancer If Chemotherapy Is Not Effective - Cancer is a deadly non-communicable disease, following the position of heart disease which ranks top. One treatment for patients with this disease is chemotherapy. However, sometimes the success of chemotherapy depends on the condition of each patient. Well, if chemotherapy is deemed ineffective, then patients must undergo other ways to treat cancer.

How to treat cancer if chemotherapy is not effective

Your body consists of millions of cells. Each damaged cell will change with a new cell by itself. But cell development can be abnormal and cause cancer. This deadly disease can attack any body part. So that abnormal cell development does not spread and stop, cancer patients need to take special treatment, such as chemotherapy.

However, cancer cells in the body may not respond to chemotherapy. Maybe the tumor continues to grow and does not shrink, the cancer metastasizes, the symptoms reappear and get worse. If the patient experiences such a situation, it is likely that the patient will be transferred to other cancer treatments, such as

1. Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy

This method might be recommended by a doctor if the chemotherapy you are taking is less successful in treating cancer. Radiation therapy relies on radiation to kill cancer cells and reduce tumor size. The way it works is to damage DNA in cancer cells to the extent that the cell can no longer repair itself. The cancer cell will stop giving up and eventually die.

In addition to killing cancer cells, this cancer treatment also has several advantages, such as causing moderate pain, rarely causing hair loss, relatively safe because organ damage near the tumor is very small.

Even so, radiation therapy still has the potential to cause tissue damage around the tumor, treatment is usually carried out for 5 days a week, the cost is quite expensive, and causes nausea, vomiting, red skin accompanied by feeling sore.

2. Immunotherapy (immune therapy)


Some types of cancer do not respond well to radiation or chemotherapy so it is necessary to try immunotherapy as another way to treat cancer. The goal is to increase the body's immune system to fight cancer cells as well as fight infections or foreign pathogens.

The therapeutic methods carried out include the administration of monoclonal antibodies (synthesis antibodies to bind cancer cells), cancer vaccines, adoptive cell transfers (lifting T cells and modifying them), and checkpoint inhibitors (T cell stimulant drugs).

Immunotherapy can increase the success of other cancer treatments. Although it causes coughing, nausea, skin rashes, and fatigue, these side effects are lighter than chemotherapy. It's just that it's still at risk of causing complications in healthy people, such as the lungs, intestines, and kidneys.

3. Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy

If other cancer treatments are not effective, you might be recommended to take hormone therapy. This therapy is usually carried out in patients with prostate cancer or breast cancer that is strongly associated with hormones in the body.

The purpose of this therapy is to keep the production of hormones in the body balanced. This treatment may involve a surgical procedure, such as removal of the ovary or testes accompanied by administration of medication.

This alternative cancer treatment can prevent cancer from metastasizing and reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer after surgery. Unfortunately, this treatment only works on cancer that requires body hormones, causing side effects such as decreased sex drive, impotence, vaginal dryness, and fatigue.

4. Target therapy 

Target therapy

This therapy targets to destroy cancer cells through drugs. Unlike chemotherapy, this cancer treatment does not affect healthy cells around the cancer. This therapy detects certain genetic abnormalities in cancer cells so that it works best when combined with other treatments.

There are various methods used in target therapy to fight cancer, namely:
  • Block or turn off chemical signals that stimulate the growth of cancer cells 
  • Changing proteins in cancer cells so that they kill cells 
  • Prevent cancer cells from triggering new blood vessels 
  • Triggers the body's immune response to destroy cancer cells 
  • Giving toxic substances to cancer cells to destroy them without affecting other healthy cells

Although it targets directly to kill abnormal cells and is thought to be able to treat cancer, this method still has weaknesses. Its weaknesses such as cancer cells become immune to certain drugs, only effective in dealing with tumors with specific genetic mutations, and cause diarrhea, liver problems, and blood clots.
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