Surgery is the oldest modality of cancer therapy and still forms the mainstay of treatment in solid tumors . Surgery alone cures 60% of solid cancers. Surgery can be used to diagnose, treat and even prevent cancer. Palliative surgeries are done to provide symptom relief in advanced stages. Organ conservation surgeries are now replacing radical surgeries in many cancers.
Unlike surgery and radiotherapy, chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that kills cancer cells which have spread throughout the body. It can be in the form of intravenous injections or oral tablets. Chemotherapy can be used in neoadjuvant, adjuvant or palliative setting for solid tumors. It is the definitive and only treatment for blood cancers.
Diagnosis is the process of finding out if a patient has a specific disease. It is obtained by a thorough history, complete clinical examination and use of diagnostic tools. The diagnostic tests range from a simple FNAC to complex biopsies; from serum tumor markers to imaging studies like USG,CT,MRI and PET Scan. Diagnosis is followed by staging investigations to decide the treatment plan and determine the prognosis.
A screening test is done to detect potential health disorders or diseases in people who don't have any symptoms of disease. The goal is early detection to reduce risk of disease or to detect it early enough to treat it most effectively with minimum costs and maximum cure. Screenable cancers are breast (by mammography), cervix (by pap smear), prostate (serum PSA levels), colorectal (by colonoscopy) and lung.
Care provided at any stage to relieve pain and distressing symptoms. It is not necessarily End-of-life care. Aim is to put life into their remaining days and not just days into their life. The goal is to improve Quality of Life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care integrates psychological and spiritual aspects of care.