The most common question some patient ask us, oncologists or cancer doctors is: If my type of cancer is incurable and if cancer treatment will only delay the ultimate, should I be undergoing treatment at all ??
A logical question…that needs a practical answer. Not all cancers are completely curable in today’s world. We still like to treat most, if not all cancers.
A couple of reasons, which would shed light on why cancer treatment is important…
1. Treatment can obtain good local control, which is the only way forward for a possible cure in the future.
2. Treatments available today was not there a couple of years back. So even if any treatment can give a few years of disease-free or reduced disease bulk time, in the future even if we have a recurrence, we are surely better prepared than what we are at present. Thus making sense for treatment.
So we may not be able to eradicate a tumor today, but even if we can stabilize or delay the ultimate, we have given a reason for the patient to live and try for an improvement in the quality of life for the remaining period. It is imperative to get a second opinion on your cancer, to explore the best treatment options, validate your treatment options if you are undergoing cancer treatment.
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Article authored by Dr. Ashu Abhishek, Unit Head Radiation Oncology, Fortis Hospitals.