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Chemotherapy vs Immunotherapy - 2 Critical Differences

September 9, 2022
Est. Reading: 7 minutes

Chemotherapy vs Immunotherapy

Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are two common cancer treatments. But how do they work? And what are the differences between them?

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs travel through the bloodstream and attack cancer cells all over the body.

Immunotherapy, on the other hand, helps the body's immune system fight cancer. The drugs used in immunotherapy allow the immune system to recognize cancer cells and attack them.

 

 

Types of Cancer Treatment 

There are many types of cancer treatments available today. Some of the most common include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Surgery is often the first line of treatment for cancer. The doctor removes the tumor and surrounding tissue during surgery through traditional open or minimally invasive surgery. Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy to kill cancer cells.

 

Chemotherapy vs Immunotherapy

 

Targeted therapy is a newer type of cancer treatment that targets specific genes or proteins involved in cancer growth. Immunotherapy is another recent treatment that helps the body's immune system fight cancer cells.

Clinical trials are ongoing to test new types of cancer treatments. Some unique treatments under investigation include immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and gene therapy.

  • Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets the specific genes, proteins, or tissue changes responsible for cancer growth and spread. Unlike traditional chemotherapy, which kills all rapidly dividing cells, targeted therapy targets cancer cells, making targeted therapy more effective and less toxic than conventional chemotherapy.
  • Gene Therapy: Gene therapy is a treatment that uses genes to repair or replace a faulty gene. The goal of gene therapy is to improve the function of a protein that is not working correctly due to a genetic mutation.

 

There are two types of gene therapy: in vivo and ex vivo. In vivo gene therapy directly inserts the therapeutic gene into the patient's cells. Ex vivo gene therapy involves:

  • Taking cells from the patient
  • Altering the genes in the laboratory
  • Returning the modified cells to the patient

Gene therapy is still considered experimental, but there have been some promising results in clinical trials. For example, gene therapy treats patients with genetic disorders such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), hemophilia, and cystic fibrosis.

Several challenges need addressing before gene therapy can become a mainstream treatment. One challenge is delivering the therapeutic gene to the correct cells in the body. Another challenge is ensuring that the therapeutic gene becomes adequately expressed for a long enough time.

Despite the challenges, gene therapy holds promise for treating various genetic disorders. Researchers are continuing to work on improving gene delivery methods and developing new ways to use gene therapy to treat diseases.

 

 

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given as a standalone treatment or combined with other cancer treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy.

The chemotherapy drugs are usually given intravenously (through an IV) and injected into the bloodstream, allowing them to reach all body parts, making them ideal for treating cancers that have spread beyond the original tumor site.

Depending on the type and stage of cancer, chemotherapy may be given as a single drug or combined with other medications. The side effects of chemotherapy vary depending on the type of drugs used but can include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and fatigue.

Despite the side effects, chemotherapy is often an effective cancer treatment and has helped countless people fight the disease.

 

Chemotherapy vs Immunotherapy

 

There are a variety of side effects that can occur during chemotherapy treatment. Some of the more common ones include:

 

  • Fatigue: One of the most common side effects caused by cancer, treatments, or a combination of both. Fatigue can range from feeling mildly tired to complete exhaustion.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms usually occur due to the chemotherapy drugs themselves and can vary in severity from person to person.
  • Hair loss: Hair loss is another common side effect typically caused by chemotherapy drugs. Hair loss can occur on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other body areas.
  • Pain: Some chemotherapy drugs can cause pain, either as a direct result of the treatment or from cancer itself.
  • Neuropathy: Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that some chemotherapy drugs can cause. Symptoms can include numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands and feet.
  • Bleeding and bruising: Chemotherapy can sometimes cause an increase in the risk of bleeding and bruising. This increased risk is usually a result of the treatment itself but can also be due to cancer.
  • Infection: Chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight infection, putting patients at greater risk for developing severe or life-threatening illnesses.
  • Emotional side effects: Cancer and its treatment can be a very emotionally challenging experience. Some patients may feel anxious, depressed, or even angry during treatment. It is essential to talk to your doctor or healthcare team if you are struggling with any of these emotions.
  • Loss of appetite: Chemotherapy drugs can sometimes cause a loss of appetite, leading to weight loss.
  • Diarrhea: This is another common side effect caused by the chemotherapy drugs themselves. Diarrhea can range from mild to severe and is sometimes accompanied by cramping or abdominal pain.
  • Constipation is another common gastrointestinal side effect that chemotherapy drugs can cause. Constipation can range from mild to severe, sometimes accompanied by bloating or abdominal pain.
  • Mouth sores: Some chemotherapy drugs can cause mouth sores, also known as stomatitis. These sores can range from mild to severe, making eating and drinking difficult.

 

These side effects can be mild to severe and often depend on the type and intensity of chemotherapy received. Some people may experience few side effects, while others may find them more debilitating. It is essential to discuss any concerns or questions with your medical team before starting chemotherapy so that they can best support you through treatment.

 

 

Immunotherapy Side Effects For Cancer

Immunotherapy, also known as biologic therapy, is a cancer treatment that uses the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The immune system is a complex network of cells and organs that work together to protect the body from foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. Cancer cells are abnormal cells that grow out of control. They can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The immune system usually recognizes and destroys these abnormal cells. But sometimes, cancer cells can avoid being recognized and destroyed by the immune system. Immunotherapy treatments work by helping the immune system identify and destroy cancer cells.

 

There are several types of immunotherapy treatments:

  • Monoclonal antibodies are artificial proteins designed to attach to specific receptors on cancer cells, which helps the immune system identify the cancer cells to destroy them.
  • Interferons are naturally occurring proteins that help the body fight infection and disease. They can be made in a laboratory and used as a cancer treatment.
  • Tumor vaccines: These vaccines help the body build immunity to certain types of cancer cells. They may be used to prevent cancer or to treat it.
  • Cytokines: These are proteins that help regulate the immune system. They can be made in a laboratory and used as a cancer treatment.

Immunotherapy is a newer cancer treatment still being studied in clinical trials. It is not yet known if it is more effective than other types of cancer treatment. But it shows promise as a treatment for some types of cancer, including melanoma, lung cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer.

Immunotherapy treatments can have different side effects, depending on the type of treatment. Some common side effects include fatigue, fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. More severe side effects are rare but can include autoimmune diseases like lupus or Crohn's.

  • Fatigue: Fatigue is a common side effect of immunotherapy. It can range from mild to severe and can interfere with your ability to perform daily activities.
  • Fever: A fever is another common side effect of immunotherapy. It occurs when the immune system fights cancer cells.
  • Chills: Chills are a common side effect of immunotherapy. They are usually accompanied by a fever and may make you feel cold and shivery.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Immunotherapy can cause flu-like symptoms, such as headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. These symptoms usually go away after the treatment is over.
  • Autoimmune diseases: In rare cases, immunotherapy can cause autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or Crohn's disease. These diseases occur when the immune system attacks healthy tissues by mistake.

 

Natural Treatments for Cancer Symptoms

Many natural treatments for cancer symptoms can help patients feel more comfortable and improve their quality of life. Some of these treatments include:

  • Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese medicine therapy involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points. Acupuncture relieves pain, nausea, and fatigue.
  • Aromatherapy: This therapy uses essential oils to promote relaxation and improve mood. Aromatherapy can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and also helps alleviate pain and nausea.
  • Exercise: Exercise has numerous benefits for cancer patients, including reducing fatigue, improving mood, and helping to relieve pain. Patients should talk to their doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • Meditation: Meditation can help cancer patients find inner peace and calm during stress. It also improves sleep quality, boosts immunity, and reduces pain.
  • Relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, and progressive muscle relaxation can help cancer patients reduce stress and promote relaxation. These techniques can also help to ease pain, fatigue, and nausea.

Cancer patients should talk to their doctor before starting any new treatment, as some therapies may not be appropriate for all patients. Natural remedies can complement conventional cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The CC Formula is an alternative, complementary treatment in the form of a cream that delivers the minerals to the cells directly through the dermal layers of the skin. These minerals are absorbed in lethal amounts by diseased cells, causing their death.  Read some inspiring testimonials from people that already used the Cancer Cell Treatment. Visit the Testimonials Page.

 

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