NorthBay Cancer Center offers state-of-the-art treatments in the fight against cancer with targeted programs designed to destroy cancer cells while preventing and managing side effects. NorthBay Cancer Center physicians personalize treatment programs to meet each individual’s biological, emotional and social needs, while helping patients fully understand their treatment options in order to make informed decisions.
Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Surgical departments coordinate services to offer patients the most comprehensive and effective treatment program possible.
Surgery – The primary treatment for many types of cancer, some cancers can be cured with surgery alone. Surgical procedures may be used to diagnose cancer (biopsy), determine how far a person's cancer has advanced (staging), relieve side effects (such as an obstruction), or ease pain (palliative surgery).
Radiation Therapy – (also called radiotherapy) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading. At low doses, radiation is used as an x-ray to see inside your body and take pictures, such as x-rays of your teeth or broken bones. Radiation used in cancer treatment works in much the same way, except that it is given at higher doses.
Chemotherapy – Cancer chemotherapy (usually just called "chemotherapy" or "chemo") refers to the use of drug therapy to fight cancer.
Hormone Therapy – (also called hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy) Hormones are substances produced by glands in the body and circulated in the bloodstream. Some hormones can cause certain cancers to grow. Hormone therapy is treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body’s natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone.
Biologic Therapy – is a type of treatment that works with your immune system. It may also be called immunotherapy, biotherapy, biological response modifier therapy, and BRM therapy. Biologic therapy can help fight cancer or help control side effects from other cancer treatments like chemotherapy. It may boost or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer, infections, and other diseases. It is also used to lessen certain side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments. Agents used in biological therapy include monoclonal antibodies, growth factors, and vaccines. These agents may also have a direct anti-tumor effect.
Targeted Treatments – Targeted cancer therapies use drugs that block the growth and spread of cancer. They interfere with specific molecules involved in carcinogenesis (the process by which normal cells become cancer cells) and tumor growth. Because scientists call these molecules “molecular targets,” these therapies are sometimes called “molecular-targeted drugs” or “molecularly targeted therapies”. By focusing on molecular and cellular changes that are specific to cancer, targeted cancer therapies may be more effective than other treatments and less harmful to normal cells.
Anti-Angiogenesis Drugs – Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels. This process is controlled by certain chemicals produced in the body. Some of these chemicals stimulate cells to repair damaged blood vessels or form new ones. Other chemicals, called angiogenesis inhibitors, signal the process to stop. Angiogenesis plays an important role in the growth and spread of cancer. New blood vessels “feed” the cancer cells with oxygen and nutrients, allowing these cells to grow, invade nearby tissue, spread to other parts of the body, and form new colonies of cancer cells. Because tumors cannot grow or spread without the formation of new blood vessels, scientists are trying to find ways to stop angiogenesis. They are studying natural and synthetic angiogenesis inhibitors, also called antiangiogenic agents, in the hope that these chemicals will prevent or slow down the growth of cancer by blocking the formation of new blood vessels.
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