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Immunotherapy: What Every Cancer Patient Needs to Know About

Not long ago, thermotherapy has been the only means of treatment for cancer patients. However, there have been several disadvantages associated with it, which have led to discovering new and better forms of treatments. Immune therapy is one form of such treatment. Therefore, if you have cancer, consult with your doctor to establish whether this option can be used on you.

But before you get to your doctor, you need to know several things about this treatment option. Here is everything that you need to know.

It is also known as Biological Therapy

Just like the name suggests, immune therapy works through the body’s immune system since your body has a natural defence mechanism. The body can naturally find and attacks cancer cells even though it needs some help. Therefore, immunotherapy stimulates the body’s immune system to make it stronger and increase its ability to fight cancer. Thus, it is known as biological therapy since it enhances the biological functioning of the body.

It is not available for all Stages and Cancer types

If you have cancer, you must consult your doctor to establish whether this treatment can be used on you. The reason is that there are some cancer stages and types when biological therapy cannot be used. Some of the cancers treated through biological therapy include advanced lung cancer and kidney cancer, among others. However, consult your doctor for a specialized diagnosis.

How Long Does the Therapy Last

Cancer cells build resistance as they adapt to targeted therapies. However, unlike chemotherapy, which only lasts for a few weeks or months, it lasts for a year or more when cancer cells respond to immune therapy. Therefore, it is the most effective form of managing cancer cells.

It is A Form of Intravenous Treatment

Intravenous treatments are treatments where the doctor puts treatments directly in your veins. Most of the immunotherapies come as injections, with only a few coming as pills. Thus, there is nowhere that you cannot get your treatment, whether it is in the hospital, doctor’s office, or even at home. Your doctor can also recommend this treatment even when you are in other forms of treatments such as chemotherapy.

The treatment can be done everyday or in few weeks intervals as everything depends on the cancer type and the treatment stage.

The therapy has Some Side Effects

Every treatment has side effects, but side effects from this treatment are mild compared to another form of cancer treatment. When using this treatment therapy, you may develop flu-like symptoms and have some allergic reactions. Other side effects that you are likely to experience include headache, chills, nausea, general body weakness, aching muscles and general tiredness.

Also, few people experience mild side effects such as retention of fluid, palpitation of the heart, diarrhea and nasal congestion. Your doctor will discuss with you the possible side effects before administering the therapy.

Immunotherapies are holding high promise

Even though most of the new immunotherapies are in clinical trials, there is high hope that they will lead to a breakthrough in cancer treatment. One of the immune therapy in the clinical trial is the cancer vaccine through which there is high hope that breast, lung, and brain cancers will be contained.

Also, immune cell therapy has shown a positive breakthrough in the treatment of very advanced blood cancers. There is also oncolytic virus therapy that is showing the ability to attack the cancer cells of all categories.

You should consult with your doctor to know whether you are eligible to take part in some of the trials since most of these therapies are already in clinical trials.