Immunotherapy 101: Pros & Cons of Immunotherapy

A cancer diagnosis can seem like the end of the world for both the patient and their family. It’s a dreaded word that no one wants to hear in the doctor’s office. However, various environmental and genetic factors can predispose you to develop this disease. Living with the disease and undergoing treatment is a challenge in itself, and most patients dread the traditional forms of treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be incredibly effective. Still, they’re damaging for cancer cells and healthy cells alike, leading to a host of side effects. However, there are alternative methods of treating cancer too. Trying out alternative medicine can make you feel like you have greater control over the disease and that you’re doing everything you can to counter it. Immunotherapy is a popular option in alternative medicine. If you’re interested in learning more about immunotherapy and alternative medicine, keep reading below.

Here are some pros and cons:

Pros of Immunotherapy

1.     Fewer Health Drawbacks

As discussed earlier, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are incredibly effective treatments to kill cancer. However, owing to their potency, they damage not just cancer cells but healthy cells too. Furthermore, they’re incredibly invasive, painful procedures, which can cause physical and psychological trauma. As a result, many cancer patients develop immense anxiety and distress as their chemotherapy draws nearer.

Alternative treatments like immunotherapy don’t cause these health drawbacks. Immunotherapy works by teaching the body to recognize and fight cancerous cells. Immunotherapy can help you keep nausea, hair fall, mouth sores, and vomiting at bay while combatting cancer effectively. Immunotherapy targets only your immune system, which lets your healthy cells stay unaffected. Instead, by strengthening your immune system, it strengthens your body holistically.

You can find immunotherapy treatment around your area. For instance, if you’re in Mexico and looking for a cancer treatment that doesn’t trigger unpleasant side effects. In that case, immunotherapy may be the perfect option. You can search online by typing alternative cancer treatments in Mexico to find the best possible option.

2.     Longer-Term Immunity

One of the biggest fears that cancer patients and their loved ones have is that their cancer may somehow return. Recurrences are, unfortunately, fairly common and are higher for some cancers than others. However, immunotherapy is an incredibly innovative treatment procedure that can help the body develop immune memory. It can teach the body to recognize cancer cells, wherever and whenever they occur, and prevent them from spreading.

Although the body generally has an immune response to cancerous cells, various factors can weaken the response. For example, the cancerous cells may be too strong for your immune system to kill them, or they may inhibit the body’s immune response. Immunotherapy helps prepare the body for long-term survival. It teaches the body to attack cancerous cells and strengthens the immune response.

3.     Bolster Other Treatments

Another vital benefit of immunotherapy is that it works well in tandem with other cancer treatments. For particularly aggressive cancers, just one treatment might not be enough to tackle the spread actively. However, most cancer therapies don’t work well together, except for immunotherapy. It works to strengthen the immune system and targets it directly; it’s the perfect complement to other cancer treatments.

Combination immunotherapy works exceptionally well when used together with radiation therapy and gives the body adaptable cancer control. Furthermore, immunotherapy with other cancer treatments can lead to a holistic cure with fewer toxic effects. Moreover, immunotherapy is the perfect treatment for skin cancer, which is resistant to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Cons of Immunotherapy

1.     Health Drawbacks

Although immunotherapy doesn’t have such strong adverse reactions as chemotherapy, that doesn’t mean there are no side effects. It stimulates the immune system, and you can commonly experience flu-like symptoms, fevers, chills, and fatigue after starting immunotherapy. These symptoms are prevalent if you have non-specific immunotherapy, and they can take a few days or weeks to wane.

Furthermore, you can suffer from a localized response at the site of injection. Common side effects can include itching, rashes, swelling, redness, and soreness. You might also experience skin cracking, blisters, and dryness. Furthermore, many patients report inflammation around their nails, which can make dressing and everyday tasks difficult. However, while these side effects are common, they usually decrease after the first treatment.

2.     Not a Quick Fix

Chemotherapy is an incredibly aggressive form of treatment that can start showing effects even after the first treatment. However, immunotherapy works differently and is a less invasive treatment that takes longer to show effects. As a result, your cancer may not go away for a while, and your treatment time will be much longer.

Furthermore, it impacts cancerous cells differently than other treatments do. Initially, the cancerous tumor may begin to swell as the immune system attacks it. The remission period may be much longer than other treatments and extend to more than a year.

3.     Won’t Work for All Cancers

Immunotherapy research has come a long way. However, there are still various aspects doctors aren’t sure about. One of the most significant research areas is how immunotherapy works exceptionally for some forms of cancer but not others.

It works better for skin cancer and cancers where the cells have many proteins or many mutations. However, there are no guarantees about which cancer will respond best to immunotherapy. Furthermore, the treatment can cause the tumor to decrease in size in some cases, but it won’t go away entirely. After a certain point, your body may grow accustomed to immunotherapy, and the tumor may come back. Additionally, in some rare cases, your immune system can go into overdrive and start attacking healthy body cells and organs.

Conclusion

Immunotherapy is an innovative new treatment that offers an alternative to treating cancer. Cancer patients can often feel utterly helpless when trying to combat this disease. Still, alternative treatments can offer a ray of hope. They allow you a chance to try something new, with potentially fewer risks and greater rewards. A skilled practitioner can help you assess your chances and help you pick the treatment that’ll suit you best. When used in concert with other treatment procedures, immunotherapy is an excellent way of strengthening your body’s response to cancerous cells.

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