Management of Cancer
Treatment options offered to cancer patients should be based on
realistic and achievable goals for each specific type of cancer. The range of
possible treatment goals may include complete eradica-tion of malignant disease
(cure), prolonged survival and
con-tainment of cancer cell growth (control),
or relief of symptoms associated with the disease (palliation).
The health care team,
the patient, and the patient’s family must have a clear understanding of the
treatment options and goals. Open communication and support are vital as the patient
and family periodically reassess treatment plans and goals when complications
of therapy develop or disease progresses.
Multiple modalities are
commonly used in cancer treatment. A variety of therapies, including surgery,
radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biologic response modifier (BRM) therapy,
may be used at various times throughout treatment. Under-standing the
principles of each and how they interrelate is im-portant in understanding the
rationale and goals of treatment.