Cancer has surrounded humanity for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egyptian times. However, in the recent decades redefined, safe and effective measures have developed to fight cancer. Three unique immunotherapies have developed:
- Adoptive T Cell Transfer,
- Checkpoint Inhibitors,
- Bivalent Antibodies.
As long as the fight against cancer remains difficult, there is going to be an attempt to develop aggressive therapies to minimize cancer cells from spreading. The traditional treatments like radiation and chemotherapy have their own side effects. Though Radiation therapy is a systematic treatment, it damages healthy cells. Chemotherapy, has its own side-effects.
Cancer immunotherapy, has become a part of modern oncology treatment from1985.Immunotherapeutic approaches using components of a patient’s own immune system to select and target cancer cells, this is reducing the side effects caused by traditional treatments. The immune system can detect cancer cells in any of the two ways—
- By recognizing unique molecules in cancer cells,
- By recognizing differentially expressed molecules in cancer cells.
So, Immunotherapy is an effective and promising treatment for cancer due to its long-lasting effects and overall improvement in survival and tolerance.
High-dose interleukin 2 (HD IL-2) was the first immunotherapy, where patients with advanced melanoma and renal cell cancer responded well. So, this new system of immunotherapy started for treating cancer patients.
The above mentioned are the medical point of view.
How Can a Cancer Patient Boost his Immuno System:
When a patient is on immunotherapy or about to start, naturally he wants to boost his immune system. Chemotherapy and radiation can lower one’s immune system. SO a patients tends to look for other means to boost his immune system.
Five basic scientific tips to boost during cancer treatments are-
First and fore most sufficient hours of sleep, sometimes it can be a bit less.7 hours of sleep at night, otherwise lack of sleep can strain one’s system. This means a patient can get sick, have a cold , flu and some serious infections.
Try these steps-
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time.
- Don’t go to bed hungry or too full.
- Before going to bed have a bath and read every night.
- Keep the bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
When under going treatment eat a variety of healthy food. Fruits, vegetables and proteins. The main aim is different nutrients will support the immune system and other body systems. Even if a person is not hungry, must eat small portions of food, which are good.
Eating healthy also means to avoid supplements that say “immune support” on the label. They can affect the treatment. Some therapies like Wheeler therapy, Gerson therapy can be avoided, as they have some side effects.
Eat, citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, curd, almonds, sunflower seeds, turmeric, green tea, papaya, kiwi, poultry, shellfish and so on.
To have a healthy immune system Exercise it is a very safe system for a cancer patient. Take the treating doctor’s advice, for time to exercise and for the kind of exercise. On certain days exercising should be avoided, like:
- When one is tired
- Anemia-when the red blood count is low,
- Poor muscle coordination,
- When the count of white blood cell is low.
Getting stressed in cancer is a common. As it fills the body with chemicals that affect the immune system and digestive system. So, to boost stress one needs to change his lifestyle. Eat well, sleep enough and exercise. Other ways to reduce stress-
- Deep breathing,
- Reading good books,
- Listening to pleasant music,
- Speaking to mental health professionals.
STAY FIT AND AWAY FROM ILLNESS:
If one wants to fight cancer stay from crowded places where germs are around. Stay away from kitchen also as, it can make one’s immune system weak. Some tips to protect from bacteria-
- Wash hands thoroughly before and after taking food,
- Set the fridge temperature at or below 40 F,
- Do not allow thawing meat, fish or poultry to drip, keep a dish under it,
- Wash fruits and vegetables before peeling or cutting them,
- Do not eat raw sprouts,
- Rinse packed salads and other packed items thoroughly, even if it is labelled ‘pre washed.’
- Stopping smoking,
- Drink alcohol only in limited quantities.
Lammersfed says, “ It’s important for people to understand that while the immune system may be weaker during cancer treatment, good nutrition may aid in warding off infections and with wound healing, but cancer treatments are the only way we know of right now to actually fight the cancer,’
Awareness Among Cancer Patients to Boost their Immune System:
The patients should be aware that they should not get another illness. But they are at risk of infections, because of a weakened immune system during chemotherapy treatments and are likely to be hospitalized and even may die
There are a number of programmes initiated by some centers like Disease Control and Infection (CDC.) This gives information and tools for patients, their families, caregivers and clinicians to reduce the risk of life-threatening infections.
One way to boost their immune system is to take sufficient nutritional food. The CDC’s provides information about ‘Three Ps,’-
- Prepare: Watch out for a fever during Chemotherapy.
- Prevent: Clean your hands.
- Protect: Know the signs and symptoms of an infection and what to do if you develop any signs or symptoms.
Cancer patients should take proper nutrition of calories, vitamins, minerals and water that is continuously provided by a healthy diet. After years of research, the best way to fight cancer is also to strengthen our own body immune system and to allow the body to do the job. The increasing number of obese persons and overweight is a major concern for the increase in number of cancer patients. So, nutritional status has an important influence on the immune system and its function is very sensitive to nutritional changes.