When it comes to cancer treatment, you deserve the best. And yet, with options like chemotherapy and radiation treatment still at the front lines of cancer treatment, its hard to feel like that’s what you’re getting. You’ve likely heard about all the unpleasant side effects these treatment options cause, in addition to the risks that your cancer may still not respond to chemotherapy, become resistant to it, and requiring that you start a different treatment altogether. That’s why researchers search tirelessly for new options to offer people the home and comfort they need during cancer treatment.
One possible option seeks to prevent some of these negative outcomes related to treatments like chemotherapy. In particularly some treatments strive to reduce side effects and make chemotherapy more effective. Some treatments strive to do both. Enter preconditioning treatment. Keep reading to learn more.
What is preconditioning therapy?
It’s well established that chemotherapy has a range of unfortunate side effects and a difficult track record when it comes to being an effective cancer treatment. But with it being such a prominent treatment option for patients, what if there was a way to prepare the body for receiving chemotherapy.
Enter preconditioning treatment, a rigorous, pre-chemotherapy treatment that essentially helps prepare the body. Because chemotherapy can take an extreme toll on the body, the goal of preconditioning treatment is to make sure your body is in the best possible condition it can be in before accepting such cytotoxic treatment.
Preconditioning therapy often involves a range of other treatments, which could range from minimally invasive options like nutritional support to optimize your body’s metabolism to more invasive options like immune stimulation and certain types of hyperthermia treatment, which can help the body be better prepared to recognize cancer cells and help chemotherapy work more effectively.
What role does precondition therapy play in our health?
The concept of preconditioning is built around the idea that our bodies are not always in an optimal health state. While preconditioning therapy prepares the body to receive chemotherapy, specifically, the underlying concept behind this treatment approach is to help find ways to make sure the body is as healthy as possible so it has as many tools as possible to fight illnesses.
How does precondition therapy help with cancer?
Preconditioning therapy is supposed to help the body be prepared to receive chemotherapy, which can both improve chemotherapy’s effectiveness and help your body brace for the toxic effects of this treatment options
Preconditioning can, at times, also refer to any treatment that is designed to improve the effectiveness of a subsequent treatment. For example, some research has explored the use of an immunotherapy prior to treatments like chemotherapy could help people with breast cancer that has spread to the brain.
Is precondition therapy an effective treatment for cancer?
Here’s what some existing scholarship suggests about preconditioning cancer treatment:
- Nutritional support could help with chemotherapy effectiveness and side effects. It’s well documented that what we eat plays a big role in our health. And indeed, certain foods, such as processed foods, can caused excess inflammation that can damage cells, induce early aging, and even cause cancer. Careful consideration of what we eat can help prvent some of these effects. Likewise, chemotherapies also cause cell and DNA damage. A review study suggests that nutritional therapy could help with some of the long and short-term effects of cancer treatment.
- Not all preconditioning treatments help subsequent treatments. For example, one study explored how and whether depriving cancer cells of oxygen (hypoxia) could help with future treatment, including radiotherapy. Researchers found that hypoxia did not offer protective benefits and could even have negative consequences in people receiving radiotherapy.
Is precondition therapy a safe treatment for cancer?
The safety of preconditioning treatment is dependent on what type of preconditioning treatment is used. The less invasive the preconditioning treatment, the safer it is likely to be. However, even with treatments like nutritional therapy, it’s important to be mindful that you are getting the nutrition you need.
With any type of cancer treatment, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the available treatment options and choose options that work for you. This should include talking to your doctor before starting any cancer treatment. They can help you decide which treatment options are right for you.