The choice for treatment depends on factors such as location, degree of severity, grade of tumour and the general state of the patient. In essence, the goal of cancer treatment is to remove or destroy the malignant cells without excessive damage to the body.
Surgical treatment involves surgical excision of a tumour or an entire organ but the propensity of cancer cells to microscopically metastases makes it effective only in localized small cancers such as breast and prostate tumours. Radiation therapy can come in the form of radiotherapy, X-ray therapy and irradiation and uses ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells. This kind of therapy is used for the treatment of cancers of the brain, cervix, larynx, breast, lung, pancreas, skin, prostate, stomach, uterus or soft tissue sarcomas. It is also used in the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. Chemotherapy involves the treatment of cancer with cytotoxic drugs that can have many effects specifically geared towards the elimination of cancer cells. One of the effects of the drugs is to interfere with cell division by hindering the duplication of DNA and the separation of chromosomes. The anticancer drugs travel through the bloodstream making it useful for cancers that have spread. Leukemias and lymphomas and cancer of the testicles can be treated with chemotherapy but breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer cannot be cured by chemotherapy alone. Monoclonal antibody therapy involves the administration of antibodies that bind to a protein on the surface of the cancer cells. Anti-HER2/neu antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin) and the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab are examples of this type of treatment. Immunotherapy makes use of a variety of strategies to enhance the immune system of patients. Examples of these include interferons and cytokines for renal cell carcinoma and melanoma and intravesical BCG. The most common combination of cancer treatment is surgery or radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy.
There are many factors that determine the effectiveness of each method but there is increasing preference for combined modalities. This includes not only the physical uniqueness of the patient but also the socioeconomic limitations of the patient and the state which may be sponsoring the treatment. It is quite well known that cancer treatment is a financially challenging enterprise.
2.0 Research Aim
The financial cost of treatment varies according to the degree of treatment required and the goal of the research to be conducted is to determine whether price differentials have an effect in morbidity and mortality in cancer treatment. To be specific, the inquiry would look into whether costlier procedures would to lead better results which would be taken as the lowering or eliminating the cancerous cells in the patient's body.
As previously mentioned, there is an increasing trend towards multidisciplinary treatment of cancer implying that there could be difficulties in comparing efficiency and effectiveness due to the overlapping of treatment. There are also many forms of cancer which further compounds the complexity of the issue. These concerns necessitate the need to define and limit the scope of the