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.