At Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, we understand that each patient and their cancer is different, so we develop a specialized treatment plan that is best suited to a patient’s unique needs.
There are different cancers we specialize in treating, and different therapy options to treat them. Here is an overview of the cancers we treat and methods for treatment.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.
Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.
When cancer develops, however, this orderly process breaks down. As cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors.
Many cancers form solid tumors, which are masses of tissue. Cancers of the blood generally do not form solid tumors.
Cancerous tumors are malignant, which means they can spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. In addition, as these tumors grow, some cancer cells can break off and travel to distant places in the body through the blood or the lymph system and form new tumors far from the original tumor.
Unlike malignant tumors, benign tumors do not spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. Benign tumors can sometimes be quite large, however. When removed, they usually don’t grow back, whereas malignant tumors sometimes do. Unlike most benign tumors elsewhere in the body, benign brain tumors can be life threatening. (source: National Cancer Institute)
Cancer cells grow in three ways:
Cells grow and divide without respect to normal limits
Cells invade and destroy adjacent tissues
Cells spread to other locations in the body
Cancers We Treat
- Bladder Cancer
- Bone Cancers
- Brain Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Colorectal (Colon and Rectal) Neoplasm
- Digestive System Cancers
- Head and Neck Cancers
- Hematological Disorders (Blood)
- Kidney Cancer Leukemia
- Lung Cancers
- Multiple Myelomas
- Neuroendocrine Tumors
- Oral Cavity Cancers
- Ovarian Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Skin Cancer including Melanoma
How is Cancer Treated?
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, they begin a unique journey towards its hopeful eradication. As with most journeys, every diagnosis and every stage of the disease requires its own roadmap for treatment. There are different therapy options which are sometimes used individually or combined with other modes of treatment.
A procedure that transplants healthy bone marrow into a patient whose bone marrow is diseased. It is most commonly recommended as a treatment option for people with blood cancer disorders.
Also called infusion therapy, chemotherapy treatment uses chemicals to disrupt rapidly dividing cells. Malignant cells can become vulnerable to intervention when they are in a state of replication. Chemotherapy’s aim is to “catch” the abnormal cells in this vulnerable state and kill the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells. These can be delivered through various modes with the most common being intravenous (IV) and oral (pills).
This approach, also called immuno-oncology, exploits molecules often found on the on surface of cancer cells, known as tumor antigens. The tumor antigens can be detected by the immune system, allowing the immune system to treat cancer on its own. Immunotherapies can be categorized as active or passive.
Active immunotherapy directs the immune system to attack tumor cells by targeting tumor antigens.
Passive immunotherapies enhance existing anti-tumor responses.
The use of radiation in various forms to destroy malignant cells and tissue. Radiation can be delivered externally or internally.
- Conventional: Uses a single beam to penetrate cancerous tissue.
- IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy): Uses multiple beams of varying intensities of radiation to limit the dose to normal tissue while increasing the dose to abnormal cells.
- Brachytherapy: The use of a radioactive source which can be implanted (permanently or temporarily) in the tumor area to deliver a higher dose to the malignant cells. There are two intensities of brachytherapy:
- HDR – High Dose Rate
- LDR – Low Dose Rate
Surgical removal of the cancerous tumor and surrounding tissue. It is often used in conjunction with other treatment methods such as chemotherapy and/or radiation.