Tasj Magazine

Oct 05

Types of Radiation Treatment for Cancer

Radiation therapy is used in a variety of settings to treat different types of cancers. Radiation therapy uses targeted energy to kill cancerous cells, shrink tumors, and provide relief from certain cancer related symptoms. There are different types of radiation therapy. The type of radiation therapy prescribed by your radiation oncologist depends upon several factors, such as type, location and size of cancer, medical history and general health of patient and the distance that radiation has to travel in the body. 

Types of radiation treatment for cancer-

External beam radiation therapy:

This is the most commonly used type is radiation therapy. The therapy is given in the form of photon beams with the help of linear accelerator. The aim of simulation is to accurately target or localize the volume which has to be treated. The energy delivered in each photon varies from case to case. This treatment is usually given one time in a day.  

External beam radiation therapy is further classified into several types, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT- Where tiny radiation beam shaped devices, collimators are used to provide single dose of radiation), Image-guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT- repeated imaging scanning are done during the treatment), Tomotherapy (Tomotherapy is actually an image guided IMRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery. 

Internal beam radiation therapy:

Also known as brachytherapy, internal beam radiation therapy involves the insertion of radioactive material into the tumor (source of cancer). This radioactive material predominantly emits photons which kill cancer cells. In brachytherapy, radioactive material is packed in smallpellets called seeds’. With the help of needle, catheter or any other devices, these tiny pellets are placed in the patient’s body. The radioactive seed decay naturally, giving off radiation that causes damage to the nearby cancer cells. This therapy can be used individually or in combination with external beam radiation therapy so as to provide an added boost to cancertreatment. 

Oct 04

Learn about different stages of breast cancer

When a person is diagnosed with breast cancer, the doctor will determine staging to understand the severity of the disease. This process will help doctors to identify the best way to contain and eliminate cancer. Different factors influence the staging process and they include size of the tumor, affected lymph nodes, nearby lymph nodes found in the axillary area and signs that show whether or not breast cancer has affected other organs. Various stages can be classified into eight categories and they include stage 0, stage 1, stage 2, stage 2 A, stage 3A, stage 3 B, stage 3 C and stage 4. 

Stages 0 and 1 denote the primary detection of breast cancer and during these stages; the size of the tumor can be identified. Doctors will find out whether or not cancer is confined to place of origin or not and common types of breast cancers like DCIS can be detected easily during these stages. In stage 2 and 2A, doctors will be having signs of cancer started spreading to other areas and basically, it will be limited to the breast area. Stage 3 A, 3 B and 3 C can be described as advanced cancer condition and cancer cells will get spread to surrounding tissues on the breast. During stage 4, cancer will be spread to other parts of the body and all these stages will definitely help doctors identify the best treatment.

During the early days, there was only a slight chance of patient survival as far as stage 4 is concerned and the advancements of the technology have revolutionized the concept of breast cancer treatments. In these days, a good number of treatment options respond to stage 4 and if patients get good care and support, this stage is also curable. Personal motivation is an unavoidable aspect during this stage as well. Doctors will start the treatment after having identified the correct stage and such a method of approach will help them select the most suitable treatment option.  

Oct 03

What makes an oncologist hematologist a truly inevitable medical professional?

Hematology can be described as a branch of science that deals with the study of blood. Hematologists treat basically treat two types of blood disorders and they include anemia and hemophilia. Oncology can be described as the study of cancers that causes uncontrollable growth of cells. Though these two specialties are separate, they are closely connected and experts of these two branches work closely to offer integrated care for the cancer patients. People will not have to collect expert opinion from two different sources if they can find an oncologist hematologist and this professional will be competent enough to handle both these branches with utmost efficiency.

An oncologist hematologist will be specialized in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancers and blood diseases like anemia, hemophilia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sickle-cell disease, leukemia and multiple myelomas. These professionals do not normally treat cancers like prostate cancer (operable) and they will focus on treating solid tumors as well. 

Cancer treatments always demand great expertise in the fields of blood and cancer and that is exactly where the importance of an oncologist hematologist comes in. For example; bone marrow transplants can be described as blood related and some cancers are being treated using these transplants. Blood tests are also being employed to diagnose some forms of cancer. In such a situation, primary-care provider will refer the patient to an oncologist hematologist for specialized care.

Hematologist oncologists work closely with other departments like surgery, radiology and pathology to make the treatment extremely effective and some other associated specialties are pain medicine, psychology and infectious disease as well. Cancer treatment definitely needs an integrated method of approach and an oncologist hematologist can be described as the pivot on which the entire treatment revolves around. Some of these professionals will convert to the field of stem cell transplantation as well. 

Oct 02

What are different types of radiation used to treat cancer?

Radiation can be classified into two categories and they include ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation forms ions or electrically charged particles and the ion formation takes place by removing electrons from molecules and atoms. Radio waves, light waves and micro waves can be described as non-ionizing radiation and it does not have the same amount of energy like ionized radiation. Ionized radiation is being used for cancer radiation treatments and it can be divided into two types. The first category is photons and, X-rays and gamma rays can be included in this category. The second category is known as particle radiation and carbon ions, alpha particles, beta particles, electrons, protons and neutrons come under this category.

Photon cancer radiation treatment
High energy photon beam, coming from sources like cesium, cobalt or linear accelerator will be used to treat cancer and it will go through the affected tissues to treat the cancer cells. When the photon beams pass through the body to reach the affected areas, they may make negative impact on the healthy cells on their path.

Different types of particle radiation

1) Electron beams

These types of beams have low energy levels and they will not penetrate too much into the body. That is why doctors use this type of radiation to treat skin or tumors close to the surface of the body.

2) Proton beams

Protons can be described as positively charged parts of atoms and they are very good at killing cancer cells with minimal damage to the normal tissues. Highly specialized equipment is needed to perform this type of cancer radiation therapy.

3) Neutron beams

When other forms of cancer radiation do not make any impact, neutron beams will be used and they are being used to treat certain types of neck, prostate and head cancers and also for some inoperable tumors. They will cause more DNA damage in comparison with protons and the side effects can be more severe as well.

4) Carbon ion

Since carbon ion radiation uses a particle that is heavier than proton or neutron, this type of cancer radiation is also known as heavy ion radiation. This particle can be described as a part of the carbon atom and it consists of protons, neutrons and electrons. It will do maximum damage to the cancer cells and the effects on healthy tissues can be more severe as well.

5) Alpha and beta particles

Special radioactive substances will produce these types of particles and they will be swallowed, injected or put into the body of the patient.  

Oct 01

Endocrine health

When dealing with thyroid cancer, it is generally going to be noted by an endocrinologist, and individuals who deal with ear, eye, nose, and throat. Due to the fact that the cancer is going to form at the base node, at the back of the neck, it can be difficult to spot early on. And, for this reason, it is important to get the thyroid monitored, especially if you do have a condition that develops around it. If you have severe throat aches, that last for extended period of time, and are not cured with common medication or treatments, then you may want to visit a specialist. In many cases it can be treated with non surgical procedures, but depending on the severity of the condition, it may require surgery. In the event you do have thyroid cancer, one of the best and easiest treatments is to cut out the infected area; this can be done in a local endocrinologist office for the most part, but it is best to visit a cancer specialist and to visit an office that does specialize in this form of cancer. 

The earlier it is spotted, the easier it is going to be to deal with the condition. So, if you do suffer from issues with the thyroid, such as hypothyroidism, it is best to get this monitored frequently, in order to ensure you know what the best methods are to deal with the problem. If you know when and how to deal with the condition, if you can catch it early on, and if you know what the best methods are to treat it, not only can you defeat the cancer, you are also going to find that it can be dealt with through minimally invasive tactics, and when you visit the right cancer center.

Sep 30

Tests For Early Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be devastating. However, cancer is most successfully treated when found early. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and every year thousands of men receive treatment for prostate cancer. 

The following screening tests are used for early diagnosis of prostate cancer-

Digital Rectal Examination- 

This is the simplest screening test for prostate cancer. A DRE is a test in which your doctor will insert a lubricated gloved finger in the rectum. Through the wall of the rectum, the doctor can feel the prostate gland and check for signs of enlargement or irregularity. Although the DRE is not a definitive cancer test, but regular exams can help detect changes in the prostate that might indicate pre-cancerous stage.  

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test-

The PSA test looks for the presence of a protein in the blood. PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. It is found mostly in semen, but a small amount is in the blood as well. Higher PSA level usually means a higher chance of having prostate cancer. 

However, the presence of PSA in the circulating blood does not necessarily prostate cancer as there are several medical conditions that can lead to increased PSA levels in the body. Higher PSA levels can be caused by an enlarged prostate, age and briefly after ejaculation (then it returns to normal levels). 


If any abnormality is found in DRE or PSA test, then your physician will refer you for biopsy. Biopsy involves taking a small tissue sample with the help of a spring loaded needle. The surgeon uses sampling needles (known as Trans Rectal Ultra Sound or TRUS) to take very small slivers of prostate tissue. The biopsy is then analysed to determine the stage and grade of cancer. It is the most definitive test for detection of prostate cancer. 

Sep 29

Ovarian Cancer - Treatment options

Like all forms of cancer, today you have more than one option when it comes to the treatment you are going to undergo for ovarian cancer. It is important that you are a part of the decision making process, and that you know what you are going to have to go through, with each of the many methods you can go about when treating the cancer. Depending on the severity, the stage it is in, and how long you have been trying to fight it, a cancer treatment center is going to offer more than one form of treatment and will suggest the best one for your specific care. Due to the fact that all people are different, and are at different stages, they are going to undergo a different form of treatment when they have to fight this ovarian cancer that they are dealing with. Based on pain, how much it has affected you, and what other areas of the body it has attacked, the treatment you are going to undergo is going to vary from one person to the next. 

Knowing you are in the best hands, and at the best cancer treatment center, is one thing you have to be sure of when you are ready to undergo the treatment of choice. All cases are different , and the way in which the ovarian cancer has spread, and is affecting your life, is going to differ from the next person. For these reasons, you have to know what the best methods are to deal with your cancer, what the best method of treating the problem is, and you have to know what the specialists believe to be the best approach, in order to ensure you do get the best treatment, and fight the illness from where it began.

Sep 28

Breast cancer - the signs

Often and early on, those who suffer from breast cancer are not going to see or feel any signs, that will let them know they are ill; A lump or area of thickening are the most common, but it is not always this simple to spot. Even if you do notice a lump, it is possible that it is not cancer, and can be removed; but, if it is cancerous, you have to find out as early as possible, so that the treatment can begin as early as possible, so that you have the best chance of fighting it. You are going to feel pain or aching, and tenderness around the breast may also be a normal sign. Whether you have noticed this in the past or not, it is best to check with your doctor, and get checked as soon as possible, rather than sit back and wait for things to get worse, or for more signs to start to show up. Even if there is nothing to worry about, it is best to know early on, rather than worry before you do decide to do anything about it. 

No matter what the change is or the signs are that you notice, you have to go in for a screening at your earliest opportunity. Not only is this the best way to fight it if it is breast cancer, it is the best way for you to dispel the problem as well, if you go to the doctor and find out there is nothing for you to worry about. It is important to go in for screenings frequently, even if there are no signs, as in many cases there is not going to be a protruding sign that indicates women may have or are dealing with breast cancer, in its early stages.

Sep 27

Catch brain cancer early

With brain cancer, the earlier you can catch it, and the more advanced the treatment, the better it is going to be for you to kill and have a chance to beat this form of cancer. Brain cancer is one of the fastest to develop, and it is one of the quickest to spread; for this reason, you have to know what the symptoms are early on, and you have to visit your doctor as early as possible, so that they can inform you of the best methods to treat and deal with the problem, if you do have a condition, or have a minor tumor that is developing in the brain. Due to the fast spreading nature of this form of cancer, the earlier you can fix it and the earlier you do start the treatment for it, the easier it is going to be for you to fight it, and the less you are going to feel when you do have to undergo the chemo and the severe treatment methods that you are going to have to endure, in order to get past this form of cancer. 

You have to go to an advanced cancer facility, and if possible, one that strictly deals with brain cancer, in order to ensure the best medical minds and the best advances in medicine are being used to treat the condition. You not only want to get it early so you can fight it, you also want to have the best professionals work on it to ensure you are going to have the opportunity to go through the treatment with the least amount of stress, effort, pain, and for the lowest possible cost as well, as these treatment options can get rather pricey when you get to more developed and advanced stages.

Sep 26

Dealing with stomach cancer

Stomach cancer, is a form of cancer that forms, and can begin, in or around any region of the stomach; due to the fact that it is slow to form, and can take years to fully progress, many people are not even aware that they are suffering from it. And, as the signs and symptoms can be slow to reach certain individuals, they are more likely to be living with some form of stomach cancer, regardless of how severe it is, for quite some time before they even go in for any kind of treatment or for pain management, namely because of the fact that they do not feel or suffer from pain. So, going in for regular check ups and having your doctor run tests, is one of the best ways and in some cases only way, for you to spot it early on, and to find the best method to deal with and to treat the stomach cancer that you are dealing with. So, taking the time to go in for regular check ups and speaking to your doctor about pain early on, are some things you have to do to fight this cancer. 

When you find out the diagnosis, you are going to find that today, there is more than one method to deal with the cancer, and to fight the problem. You can undergo radiation, chemo, and in more severe cases, you may require surgery to remove it, but you do have options. So, going in for regular screenings, and discussing any pain that you may feel, are some of the things that you can do, and are basically the only ways that a doctor can diagnose you, due to the fact that the cancer can take some time to form, and show the signs and symptoms.