Most of us have been affected by cancer in some way or another, whether it’s through a friend or family member, or even a personal experience. No matter who or what type of cancer, any diagnosis is terrifying. Even though there is no cure, researchers have made progress. If caught early, many cancers now have a high survival rate thanks to radiation, chemotherapy, and one of the newest forms of treatment — immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is one of the lesser known treatments that is not commonly talked about. This type of therapy uses the body’s immune system to try and fight off cancer. It can be used on its own or in tandem with other treatments and has proven to be very effective. While it’s definitely got its benefits, there are some downfalls. One of the major cons of immunotherapy are the side effects, including these 12…
1. What is Immunotherapy?
Before we dive into the side effects, let’s first really get a good understanding of what immunotherapy is. Unlike chemotherapy or radiation therapy which are known for being incredibly harsh and attacking even the healthy cells in the body, immunotherapy is a little more targeted. It’s a form of cancer treatment that uses a person’s immune system to help fight off diseases like cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, immunotherapy works in different ways. It can help stimulate the immune system so that it works harder to attack cancer cells or it can provide man-made immune system proteins to make it better equipped to fight off cancer cells.
This type of cancer treatment has become extremely important in the past few decades when it comes to treating certain types of cancers, some better than others. “Newer types of immune treatments are now being studies, and they’ll impact how we treat cancer in the future,” writes the source.