The Secret of Cancer Treatment And Side Effects: Chemotherapy And Immunotherapy


So you have been told that your cancer will be treated with chemotherapy. What exactly does that mean? Do you think that the side effects are so as bad as you've heard? How effective is it? Why not a different type of treatment? What about immunotherapy? These are important questions to ask your doctor, but to give you a head start, here's some basic information about these two common types of cancer treatment: chemotherapy and immunotherapy.


Chemotherapy

The use of drugs or drugs to treat cancer is chemotherapy. Unlike surgery or radiation therapies that remove, kill, or damage cancer in a specific area, chemo works throughout the body and can be used to kill cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy can be used to cure cancer, control cancer, or for palliation.

Common side effects associated with chemotherapy include fatigue, hair loss, easy bruising and bleeding, anemia, infection, changes in appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, problems with the mouth, tongue and throat (such as pain on swallowing and ulcers). ), nail and skin changes, bladder and urine changes, kidney problems, weight changes, mood swings, fertility problems, and changes in sexual function and libido. It is important to remember that just because all of these side effects exist does not mean that you will experience them. Maybe you only have a few or maybe none at all. Chemotherapy treatment affects each person differently.

Immunotherapy

Using the body's immune system to fight cancer is called immunotherapy. Meanwhile it can be done in two ways:
 

  1. Through stimulating your immune system to attack cancer cells or generally work harder.
  2. By giving your immune system components, such as man-made proteins.

Immunotherapy works better for certain types of cancer than others. It is sometimes used as the sole treatment and sometimes in combination with other treatments. Immunotherapy can be given intravenously (IV), orally, topically, or intravesically (directly into the bladder). 

The Main Forms of Immunotherapy Currently used to Treat Cancer are:

  • The monoclonal antibodies - man-made proteins that can be designed to attack specific parts of cancer cells.
  • The  immune checkpoint inhibitors - drugs that help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.
  • Cancer vaccines - substances introduced into the body to trigger an immune response.
  • Non-specific immunotherapies - These generally strengthen the immune system, allowing it to attack cancer cells.

The side effects you may get with immunotherapy treatment depend on the type of immunotherapy you receive, but in general the possible side effects include skin reactions at the needle site, The flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, weakness, nausea or vomiting). dizziness, tiredness, joint or muscle pain, difficulty breathing, headache, high or low blood pressure), weight gain due to fluid retention, swelling, sinus congestion, palpitations and risk of infection.

Knowledge is power

The chance that you will develop cancer depends on several factors. Your lifestyle is one. Therefore the healthier you are, the stronger your cancer prevention. Another factor is genetics. Do you know if you have a genetic predisposition that increases your chances of developing certain cancers? Getting this information will help you make the right choices to optimize your cancer prevention lifestyle


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