Many men, women, and children are benefiting from modern hospitals, wearable health monitors and even at-home diagnostic kits that are easy to use. Technology has allowed many health practitioners to treat severe cases in the hospital and help out-patients manage themselves at home before seeking professional help. Technology bridges the gap between health care providers and patients not just in communication but also in knowledge to prevent serious medical issues.
Let’s look at how technology has impacted patient care who have cancer and what is the latest cancer treatment that can help patients today.
What is Cancer?
This word is a very broad term for several cellular conditions that causes certain cells to proliferate without ending. Cancer cells form in our body almost every hour, it’s just that our immune system can destroy those cells before they get numerous. When our immune system fails, or a type of cancer cell outpaces it, then it becomes a problem. Cancer cells affect patients in many ways.
- Malnourishment – Cancer cells consume nutrients at an alarming rate compared to healthy cells.
- Blockage – The mutated cells cause blockage in a lot of parts of the body such as blood vessels, organ ducts and more. They can cut off blood supply to parts of the body and to essential organs like the brain.
- Compression – Another way cancer affects a patient is through growing abnormally fast and forming a large growth that presses on surrounding organs and tissue. Any affected organ will have diminished function.
- Infiltration – When pieces of cancer (cells) break off and grow in other areas (metastasize), they can infiltrate a healthy organ and cause damage by growing too fast, grabbing all the nutrients, blocking blood supply and compressing the organ until it gets destroyed.
How to Cure Cancer
Curing cancer focuses on several key aspects and technology has helped in all of them. Look at how science has made a way to deal with cancer.
The first aspect of curing cancer is all about a diagnosis. The disease is sometimes genetic. It can be in your bloodline, waiting to pop up and cause problems. These are some tests that can detect cancer.
- Tumor Marker Tests – detects chemicals made by certain tumors. Example for this is the Prostate Specific Antigen test which can help detect prostate cancer, common cancer in men aged 45 and above.
- Digital Tomosynthesis – Creates a 3D image of the breast to detect any cancer. Much more accurate than a regular mammogram.
- MelaFind – A handheld tool that can detect Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Usually detected with a biopsy, unfortunately, biopsies fail to detect cancer and tend to leave marks. MelaFind allows physicians to detect cancer accurately.
- CT-scan – Commonly used to find growths and tumors in hard to reach spaces that ultrasounds can’t detect. Very useful in checking the brain for any cancerous growths.
Latest Technology to Treat Cancer
Cancer treatment has come a very long way. We’ll skip the traditional radiation therapies to focus more on the latest treatments to cancer.
- Gamma Knife – By focusing radiation to almost pinprick precision, a surgeon is capable of minimizing healthy tissue damage by taking out only the cancer cells.
- Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery – Enters the body in a smaller opening and using specialized tools to reach the growth without the need for major incisions. Very useful in targeting brain tumors without breaking the skull.
- Immunotherapy – A treatment that has gone through a series of studies and evolutions. The therapy means boosting the immune system, so it can fight the tumor. We’re only discovering safe and effective ways to boost our natural immune system and take advantage of its cancer-killing mechanism.
The Search for a Cure Never Ends
It’s amazing how technology saves lives, especially from cancer. Just how we get a new smartphone every month, we’re also inching. Closer and closer to beating diseases that were incurable a decade ago. Not just that, technology is embedded in our lives that every minute we’re probably looking at a piece of tech. All thanks to science.