Standard Conventional Care
A standard conventional care is considered the norm by most medical doctors. Such care is primarily delivered by medical oncologists, surgical oncologists and radiation oncologists, and includes treatments such as below:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Stem cell transplant
- Precision medicine
Conventional cancer care’s main benefits are in improving early detection of several cancers and in curing or producing long-term remissions in a few distinct cancers, especially some of the cancers common in children and young adults:
- Early stage prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Papillary thyroid cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Cervical cancer
Conventional care has also been successful in controlling a few types of advanced cancers. In many cases these can be treated more like chronic rather than rapid terminal illness. Some cancers can be controlled for months or even years by conventional cancer care.
Concerns and Limitations:
Despite advances, the most common and deadly cancer remains difficult to cure unless it is detected early and a course of action is taken. During a patient’s course of treatment, a particular therapy may become less and less effective over time.
Other times the patient may not be responsive to some therapies that cure or control diseases in others.
Conventional cancer care often comes with many side effects, including some that are debilitating or even life threatening. These side effects may even persist for years while others may surface only months or years after cancer treatment.
Recent changes in conventional cancer care
Palliative care focuses on relieving suffering. Palliative care also provides symptom management and assistance with decision-making on advance planning. We offer palliative care to our patients who require symptom management and advance care planning.
Reasons for Optimism
Despite some challenging trends, some of our advisors report a new sense of excitement and fresh thinking among leaders in cancer medicine. Cancer treatment in a general sense is moving beyond surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation to include a more holistic approach and an integrative approach to cancer care.
Therapies are also being combined and individualized. Both mainstream oncology and integrative medicine have realized that one type of treatment does not fit all. In addition, mainstream oncology centers area offering information about integrative therapies on their website and at their office.
- Credit: BCCT: Standard Conventional Care
- National Cancer Institute: Cancer Types
- American Society of Clinical Oncology: Types of Cancer
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network: NCCN Guidelines for Patients
- American Cancer Society: Cancer A–Z
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (use the search box part way down the page to select a cancer type for diagnosis and treatment information)
- University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center: Cancer Types
- Mayo Clinic
- Johns Hopkins Hospital: Health Library
- Seattle Cancer Care Alliance: Types of Cancer