The immune system is made up of many different cells (including T – cells) which act as a defence mechanism for the body. Normally the T – Cells find and destroy any cells which they think are a foreign body, such as, bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.
Cancer develops when abnormal cells are undetected by the T-cells. The reason for this is that cancer cells can block the activity of the T-cell so that they are hidden and can carry on growing and dividing.
Immunotherapy works by unblocking the activity of the T-cell. This then gives the T-cell the ability to recognize that there are abnormal cancer cells in the body and start to fight them.
Immunotherapy is not used to treat all types of cancer, as some cancers respond better to chemotherapy. Your oncologist will advise you of your treatment options.
If you develop any of the following side effects, you must ring the 24 hour oncology helping number on 03332226646.
- Yellow colour to your skin or the whites of your eyes.
- If you have developed a new or worse cough.
- Dark urine
- Severe or persistent muscle aches or pains
- Rapid heart beat
Whilst on Immunotherapy you may have to have investigations such as CT scan, Chest X-rays and others.
It can take up to 3 weeks to get the results of these investigations. If you have an out – patient appointment with your Oncologist for these results, it is worth ringing the Lingen Davies Centre on 017430261000 ext 3421 to ensure the results are back. Your appointment can then be rescheduled if the results are not available which will save you any disappointment.
Forums are an online support group which give information about Immunotherapy, being treated and the possible side effects. The benefits of using online forums is to talk to other people in a similar situation and share experiences. It is important to remember that your experience may differ completely to another patient who is on the same treatment.
This is a good way to look at other patient’s experiences and their journey. It also gives you the opportunity to share your journey with other patients.
The cancer support charity that helps women manage the visible side effects of cancer treatment. (Includes free beauty products). Contact the Hamar centre on 01743 261035 for more information or visit their website.
Odyssey was created to help people with cancer regain their confidence and enjoyment of life. Creating a magical adventure through a unique blend of the unexpected, a variety of challenges and a lot of fun.. and its free!