Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment method which relies on the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. When a foreign substance enters the body, the immune system is called into action in order to force the substance out. Immunotherapy treatment supports the immune system in its fight to control and eliminate cancer cells.
Immunotherapy for cancer is divided into 4 main types, according to the cell mechanisms or actions in support of the immune system as follows:
Research into the treatment of cancer through immunotherapy is still ongoing. Numerous types of medications used alongside immunotherapy have already been cleared for use in the U.S. These can be used as the main treatment or in conjunction with other standardized treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and/or surgery.
Currently, immunotherapy techniques are being utilized in the fight against the following types of cancer:
Although utilizing immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer is effective, there are, unfortunately, some negative side effects which come along with the treatment. Patients undergoing immunotherapy may experience symptoms such as fever, upset stomach or diarrhea, nausea, and mouth ulcers, all of which are natural responses by the body’s immune system. Generally, these symptoms will gradually disappear over time.
Immunotherapy to treat cancer is a relatively new method, and one that has highly specific effects. It is important that patients wishing to undergo immunotherapy have a detailed health assessment prior to undergoing the treatment in order to fully understand what’s involved.
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