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How Immunotherapy Can Boost Your Immune System and Help Fight Cancer

Your immune system is not a single entity, but a complicated network of tissues, organs, cells, proteins, and other substances all working as a team, continuously searching for and detecting foreign invaders to attack. 

Unfortunately, cancer is nothing like a cold; it’s one of the strongest invaders your body will ever encounter, and your immune system may not be able to fight it alone. Cancer also plays dirty and can fly under the radar undetected or disguise itself and trick your immune system into backing off. 

We’ve seen all these heinous cancer characteristics at Choice Cancer Care, and our team of board-certified medical oncologists and hematologists have powerful and innovative ways of leveling the playing field so your immune system can do its job. 

Immunotherapy taps into the naturally occurring substances from living organisms to boost your immune system and give it a fighting chance.

Immune system function

Cancer is a classic battle of good versus evil, and each side has strengths and weaknesses. The starting lineup on “team immune system” includes:

In order to protect you from outside invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins, your immune system needs to be able to tell the difference between your own cells and the intruders. To do this, it looks for certain proteins found on the cells’ surface. 

As soon as it finds an unfamiliar protein and detects a pathogen, your immune system kicks into high gear, producing antibodies that mark the invader cells for death, so the T cells can kill them.

Cancer cell tactics

Cancer cells typically begin as normal cells in your body, so your immune system leaves them alone. Then one day, they begin to mutate and multiply. If you have a weak immune system, these cancerous cells have an easy time taking over the area, but even people with strong immune systems get cancer, because cancer has a few tricks up its sleeve:

In these cases, your immune system may need a new strategy to help it recognize cancer cells as foreign agents and a power boost to help it win the battle. Enter immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy strategy

There are many types of immunotherapy, and many more are currently under research. Each one approaches cancer differently, so the best one depends on your specific type of cancer and the condition of your immune system. 

Some of the most prevalent include:

In addition to these cancer treatments, immunotherapy in the form of vaccines can also help to prevent some cancers, such as cervical, vaginal, penile, throat, vulvar, anal, and liver cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B.

From pills and creams to IV drugs, the delivery method of immunotherapy differs depending on the kind of cancer you have and the treatment you need. 

Types of cancer treatable with immunotherapy

Immunotherapy has successfully treated many types of cancers, including:

Immunotherapy may also be an effective treatment for leukemia and lymphoma and skin cancer. This is just a sampling of the ever-growing list of cancers immunotherapy can prevent, control, and eliminate. 

In some cases, immunotherapy may offer a promising alternative or complement to chemotherapy and radiation. To find out if you or a loved one are a good candidate for immunotherapy, contact us at any of our offices in Plano, Lewisville, Irving, Southlake, and Decatur, Texas. Or you can request an appointment using our online tool today. 

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