Some things you should know about Cancer Treatment Plans

Cancer is no longer the death sentence it used to be. With over half of those diagnosed able to recover and lead normal lives, and some types of cancer having a nearly 100% recovery rate, it’s very possible to live a full and fulfilling life with cancer. At Jennie Stuart Medical Center, we work to increase recovery rates through our customized, personal care and thorough cancer treatment. Of course, it helps to better understand the cancer treatment plans we offer and how they will benefit your long-term health and progress. We’ll explain the essentials to consider when planning a whole cancer treatment plan, so you have the proper information to make a well-informed decision.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy

The plan your oncologist will create for you is based on different factors about you and your cancer. This includes the type of cancer you have, your current health and situation, and the stage of the cancer. Treatment plans tend to include different, common cancer therapy forms, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Your treatment plan might include chemo medications at certain doses and intervals, otherwise known as cycles. During your cycle period, you will receive treatment; afterward, no chemo is given, so your body can rest and build new cells. Your doctor will work with you to determine what schedule suits you. Cycles operate on a schedule based on your goals, how the medication works, and how your body reacts. Because medications work at different times throughout the cell cycle, your doctor will try to schedule chemo as often as possible while minimizing unwanted side effects. Chemo can be administered by different methods, including IV, oral, and injected chemotherapy, among others. Common side effects include nausea and vomiting, which is why emotional support and constant checkups are important through the entire procedure.

With radiation therapy, your radiation oncologist will develop your treatment plan and your radiation oncology nurse will assist in caring for you. Other healthcare professionals likely will also be involved in the process. The first radiation therapy is a simulation, which is a practice run without radiation. Imaging scans will be used to identify the tumor location, normally via a CT scan, MRI, or possibly X-ray. Sessions are short and pain-free, and generally happen 5 times a week for 3-9 weeks. The 2-day breaks allow your body to repair damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Internal radiation therapy involves temporary and permanent placement of radioactive sources where the tumor is located, with treatments spread out over a period of days to weeks. With internal radiation therapy, you may be required to stay in the hospital briefly, and anesthesia is often necessary during the placement of radioactive sources. Many people experience fatigue, sensitive skin around the radiation exposure site, and emotional distress, which is why weekly reports, personal care, and monitoring will be part of the entire process. It’s also important to make sure you take time to rest more, maintain a healthy diet, and seek emotional support.

Educational programs

Our patient education program is designed to help make the experience of living with or recovering from cancer easier to handle. We advance our patient educational programs by providing full access to necessary information and tools, as well as equipping patients and their families with the skills and support they need. Effective education helps improve self management and self care, knowledge of cancer and its treatment, symptom management, and overall quality of life. This is why, at Jennie Stuart Medical Center, we constantly look to make our educational programs better for our patients and their loved ones.

Support services

Living with cancer is understandably difficult, which is why it’s vital to have a wide array of support services before, during, and after treatment. Support groups are important to help enhance quality of life and reduce initial confusion and depression. Pastoral care exists to make sure patients receive adequate emotional and spiritual support through tumultuous times. Counseling and therapy, as well as home health services, are also part of the E.C. Green Cancer Center’s work in providing all the care you need along the continuum of cancer treatment.

How do I choose my cancer treatment plan? 

It’s understandable you may not be entirely sure how to proceed when you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. At Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville, KY, we’re here to assist through the entire process. No matter at what stage you find yourself, our dedicated, caring team is here for you. With our sophisticated treatment systems and advanced medicine, all housed in our state-of-the-art facility, we’re confident we can make a positive impact in your life.

For more information, give us a call today at (270) 887-0100.