What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Immunotherapy?

How Immunotherapy Works

Using substances made by the body or in a laboratory, immunotherapy improves the natural defense of the body to fight cancer. Immuno therapy cancer might help in slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells and prevent cancer from reaching other parts of the body.

An Overview of Treatment

Immunotherapy might be managed in a few different ways:

•  Intravenous: The immunotherapy is put into a vein by using an IV.

•  Topical: The immunotherapy comes in a cream.

•  Oral: The immunotherapy comes in a pill or capsule.

•  Intravesical: The immunotherapy is controlled into the bladder.

You would go through regular checkups, blood tests, and scans to see whether cancer has been responding to treatment. Because many people have a hampered response, it might take a little time to know whether immunotherapy has been working or not.

Drugs of Immunotherapy help the immune system is working harder or making it easier for it to find and getting rid of cancer cells.

Several drugs of immunotherapy have been ratified to combat cancer, and hundreds more are being tested in clinical trials (research studies that use participants to test new medicines). If immunotherapy appears like the best way in combating cancer, your doctor might know of a clinical trial you could join.

If the doctor recommends immunotherapy in combating cancer, there’s a lot to talk to them about before you decide if it is appropriate for you.

What Are the Benefits?

There are many causes the doctor may think immunotherapy is a good option for you:

Immunotherapy might work when other treatments don’t. Some cancers (like skin cancer) don’t respond well to chemotherapy or radiation but start to fade away after immunotherapy.

It could help other cancer treatments work better. Other therapies you have, for example, chemotherapy, might work better if you also have immunotherapy.

It causes fewer side effects than other treatments. This is because it aims just the immune system and not all the cells in the body.

Your cancer might be less likely to return. When you are having immunotherapy, your immune system adapts to go after cancer cells if they ever return. This is called immune memory, and it can help you in staying cancer-free for a longer time.

What Are the Risks?

Immunotherapy carries a lot of assurance as a treatment of cancer. Still, it could cause some problems.

You may have a bad reaction. The area where the medication goes into the body can harm, itch, turn red, swell, or get painful.

There are side effects. Some kinds of immunotherapy encourage the immune system and make you feel like you are having the flu, complete with fever, chills, and tiredness. Others can cause issues like weight gain from extra fluids, swelling, heart palpitations, a stuffy head, and diarrhea. Most of the time, these ease up after the first treatment.

It could harm organs and systems. Some of these drugs could create the immune system to attack organs like your liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, or intestines.

It isn’t a quick fix. In some cases, immunotherapy takes much longer to work than any other treatment. Your cancer might not go away quickly.

It doesn’t work for everyone. Right now, immunotherapy is working for less than half the people who are trying it. Many people only have an incomplete response. This means that the tumor can stop growing or get smaller, but it doesn’t go away. Doctors are not sure so far why immunotherapy helps only in the case of some people.

Your body can get used to it. Over time, immunotherapy might stop having a consequence on the cells of cancer. This means that even if it works initially, the tumor can start growing again.