Treatment of oncological patients
Cancer can be treated with:
- surgical procedure – surgery is by far the most important method of treating most neoplastic processes; it is assumed that at least 50% of people cured of cancer have undergone surgery; is a local treatment method,
- radiotherapy – is the second most important method of treating human cancer and is increasingly used in animals; very general data show that about 40% of people cured of cancer were irradiated; it is also a method of local treatment,
- chemotherapy – the administration of drugs that damage cancer cells is the third traditional method of treating cancer processes, affecting the entire body, and therefore a systemic treatment; it is estimated that 10% of people completely cured of cancer received cytostatic drugs,
- targeted treatment, otherwise known as targeting molecular targets – is a dynamically developing field of human oncology consisting in the systemic use of drugs specifically targeting specific particles (therapeutic targets) in the body or cancer cells and thus influencing the processes conditioned by these particles; most often it does not provide the possibility of a complete cure, but it significantly extends the life of oncological patients, often leading to the transformation of an aggressive neoplastic process into a chronic disease; this method of treatment is so far in its infancy in veterinary medicine due to the extremely limited arsenal of drugs,
- immunotherapy – the involvement of immunological mechanisms in oncological treatment allows for spectacular therapeutic successes in humans, such as enormous progress in the treatment of melanomas thanks to the use of checkpoint inhibitors; the possibilities of veterinary immunotherapy are so far limited to only a few preparations,
- other treatment methods of much less importance than the above.
Almost always, the best treatment results are obtained when different treatments are combined. Optimal combinations and treatment regimens can be very different for different cancers.