Burzynski Clinic on How to Prepare for Cancer Treatment

The Burzynski Clinic recognizes that receiving a cancer diagnosis is scary.  Regardless of the type or stage, people are concerned about their future.  The first step in battling cancer is detection and diagnosis.  It is important for people to understand exactly what they are dealing with.  This also affects how the doctor will approach treatment.  There are many different forms of cancer, and they affect everyone slightly differently.  Once the doctor has performed the necessary tests and taken a thorough medical history, they will develop a treatment plan.

Treatment plans vary from person to person.  Some people undergo multiple types of treatment in order to most effectively combat their cancer.  Depending on the type, it will affect how the person prepares.  Patients should bring all relevant medical documents with them to their appointment including insurance cards, test results, scans, charts, and anything else they have.  This can help the doctor when determining treatment.  It is important that patients ask the appropriate questions and have an understanding of what to expect.  They should discuss potential side effects with the physician so that they can plan accordingly.  Common cancer treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy:  Chemotherapy uses specific drugs to target and destroy cancer cells.  There are more than 100 different drugs available and they are often used in combination with each other for a more comprehensive approach.  Different drugs work in different ways.  The Burzynski Clinic notes that chemotherapy works throughout the entire body as opposed to in just one specific area.  While it can cure some types of cancer, it is also used to slow the growth of tumors, keep cells from spreading, and kill cells that have already spread.  It is multifunctional.  Sometimes chemotherapy is the only treatment that a patient receives, but generally it is combined with surgery and/or radiation.
  • Radiation:  This form of treatment uses high-energy particles or waves to provide more targeted cancer treatment.  It is focused on specific tumors or cells.  Patients may undergo radiation at any point during their treatment.  Sometimes it is used to shrink tumors before surgery and other times to destroy any remaining cells after surgery.
  • Surgery:  The goal of surgery is to remove all or as much of the tumor as possible.  Once the tumor is removed, chemotherapy or radiation is often used to destroy any cells still present in the body.  This can help to reduce the chances of the cancer recurring.  Sometimes the tumor is deemed inoperable depending on its location and how it is impacting the body.
  • Targeted Therapy:  Targeted therapies interact with cancer in a different way.  They are geared toward the molecular or cellular functions.  They can help to stop cells from growing and tumors from developing new blood vessels.  While chemotherapy and radiation can cause damage to healthy cells, targeted therapies do not affect them.  They only interfere with the function of cancerous cells.

In order to better prepare, the Burzynski Clinic encourages patients to educate themselves about the type of treatment that they will receive.  They should talk to their doctor, surgeon, and also other patients.  Their physician can also provide them with valuable resources and reading materials to learn more.

Aside from understanding how each treatment works, there are other ways that people can prepare themselves.

1. Bring a friend or family member.  When going to a treatment center like the Burzynski Clinic, bring someone else along.  The patient already has a lot on their mind and it can help to have someone else listening and asking questions.  They can not only provide support, but also help recall what was said.  Write down any questions or concerns ahead of time so as not to forget.