Targeted Therapy Services for Cancer in Staten Island, NY
A cancer diagnosis is scary and unsettling, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide on the best treatment option for you. Targeted therapy services for cancer are an option for treating certain types of cancer and they may be the best choice for you. Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, New York, provides a wide range of oncology services, including targeted therapy, which can help you treat your cancer and get to feeling better. Learn more about our targeted therapy services for cancer and whether they can help your cancer.
What Is Targeted Therapy?
Targeted therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that uses drugs or antibodies to attack the proteins that make cancer cells grow and spread. The process blocks the chemical signals that tell the cancer to grow, thus preventing the advancement of the cancer. Targeted therapy is only suitable for cancers that have a target for a certain drug because if the drugs do not target the right cells, the process will not work.
There are two main kinds of targeted therapy: small-molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies. Small-molecule drugs can enter cells easily, are used for targets inside cells, and are typically taken orally as a pill. Monoclonal antibodies, or therapeutic antibodies, are proteins produced in a lab that attach to specific targets on cancer cells and are usually given through a needle in your vein. Depending on the type of target therapy you get and the type of cancer you have, the process can work in a few different ways. Targeted therapy can:
- Helping the immune system find and destroy cancer cells that could be hidden.
- Boosting your immune system to work better against cancer.
- Interrupting signals in cancer cells that make them grow and divide, preventing uncontrollable growth.
- Stopping signals that help form blood vessels to prevent tumors from spreading.
- Sending cell-killing substances to cancer cells
- Restricting the hormones that the cancer cells need to grow.
Targeted therapy can be used alone or combined with other cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. The oncology experts at Richmond University Medical Center can help you determine the best treatment plan for your cancer, whether it is targeted therapy or another option.
What Types of Cancer Is Targeted Therapy Used to Treat?
As previously mentioned, targeted therapy for cancer only works when there is an appropriate drug to target the appropriate cells. Your oncologist may use biomarker testing to determine if targeted therapy will work for your specific cancer. This type of testing looks for differences in the tumor’s DNA that are “targets” for the drugs to attack. Many different types of cancer have approved targeted therapy drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including:
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colon cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
Targeted therapy is a precise treatment that focuses on targeting the bad parts of the cancer cells, rather than killing normal, healthy cells, too, like with chemotherapy. How often patients receive treatment will depend on their type of cancer. It can be every day, every week, every month, or in cycles. Ask your oncologist if targeted therapy treatment could be an option for you.
What Are the Side Effects of Targeted Therapy?
Although targeted therapy can be beneficial for many patients with cancer, there are side effects that can occur, as with most cancer treatments. However, since targeted therapy attacks only cancerous cells and not healthy ones, patients may experience fewer side effects than with traditional treatments like chemotherapy. Every patient will react differently, and different types of targeted therapy can have different side effects. Some of the common side effects of targeted therapy include:
- Liver problems
- Problems with blood clotting
- Slow wound healing
- High blood pressure
- Mouth sores
- Skin problems like rashes and dry skin
- Nail changes
If you experience any of these side effects, your doctor may be able to offer suggestions or prescribe medications to mitigate them. In addition to the side effects, a drawback of targeted therapy is that cancer cells can start to become resistant to the process. Therefore, it is best to use multiple targeted therapies at once or targeted therapy in conjunction with another treatment.
Cancer Care at Richmond University Medical Center
Richmond University Medical Center provides the Staten Island community with comprehensive medical services right on the island, including oncology, gynecology, and orthopedic services. Our cancer program has been accredited for over 80 consecutive years by American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, one of the most prestigious national accreditations in the field of cancer.
Whether you already have a diagnosis or need it confirmed, the board-certified oncologists at Richmond University Medical Center will thoroughly assess your condition, provide an advanced diagnosis, and develop a customized treatment plan specific to your cancer type. Our Center for Cancer Care not only offers innovative cancer services with updated technologies, but also provides behavioral health services, counseling, and cancer resources to provide additional support for you and your loved ones. Check out our brochure to get further information about the cancer services we provide and how we can help you through your battle with cancer.
Learn More About Targeted Therapy Today
If you are curious about whether targeted therapy can be a treatment option for your cancer, get in contact with the compassionate oncologists at Richmond University Medical Center. Conveniently located in Staten Island, Richmond University Medical Center is here to provide nearby residents with complete cancer services from diagnosis to recovery. Call 844-934-CARE for more information about oncology and targeted therapy treatment at Richmond University Medical Center.