Lung Cancer And Me ft Immunotherapy vs Chemotherapy Treatment

Lung Cancer And Me ft Immunotherapy vs Chemotherapy Treatment

How has cancer affected or changed your life? It took a bit longer for me to blog about this because cancer has deeply impacted my life many years ago. My aunt who was very close to me passed away because of cancer. Since then, I took more initiatives to learn about this disease and hopefully that I can spread the awareness. If I knew about Immunotherapy earlier, this treatment may help to prolong her life, or at least reduce her sufferings. Today, I’m glad to share this piece of knowledge that I gathered from the recent Lung Cancer and Me Blogger Workshop and discuss about the differences between Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy.

Lung Cancer And Me, Cancer Treatments, Immunotherapy vs Chemotherapy Treatment, Lung Cancer in Malaysia, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, 5 Reasons Why and How Immunotherapy Can Help Cancer Patient, Cancer in Malaysia, best effective cancer treatment, immunotherapy, medical, health
Lung Cancer And Me ft Immunotherapy vs Chemotherapy Treatment

Today I’m going share about the scenario of Lung Cancer in Malaysia, what are the challenges of lung cancer, and 5 Reasons Why Immunotherapy Can Help Cancer Patient. Immunotherapy treatment is a new chapter in the cancer treatment and prognosis of cancer in the country.

Lung Cancer in Malaysia

Do you have family member or friends or anyone that you know affected with lung cancer? According to statistics lung cancer is a serious global health issue with 1.8 million of new cases per year and 1.6 of deaths per year. In Malaysia, lung cancer is the second most common cause of death due to cancer, accounting for 4,088 deaths per year. And Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) is the most commonly diagnosed category of cancer, accounting for 85% of all lung cancer cases. 

Lung Cancer And Me, Cancer Treatments, Immunotherapy vs Chemotherapy Treatment, Lung Cancer in Malaysia, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, 5 Reasons Why and How Immunotherapy Can Help Cancer Patient, Cancer in Malaysia, best effective cancer treatment, immunotherapy, medical, health
Lung Cancer in Malaysia

These are the symptoms of lung cancer such as persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. If you suffered these symptoms regularly for a period-of-time, please go for your diagnosis, it’s better to prevent it. The challenges with this disease are patients tend to ignore the symptoms until the cancer has advanced to grown, plus there are limited treatment options over the last few decades, especially Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Lung Cancer And Me, Cancer Treatments, Immunotherapy vs Chemotherapy Treatment, Lung Cancer in Malaysia, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, 5 Reasons Why and How Immunotherapy Can Help Cancer Patient, Cancer in Malaysia, best effective cancer treatment, immunotherapy, medical, health
Spokesperson (from left): Dato’ Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim (Consultant Clinical Oncologist); Choo Mei Sze (Youth Ambassador, National Cancer Society Malaysia) and Kenneth Low (Assistant Manager of Health Education, Literacy, Promotion, and Policy, National Cancer Society Malaysia)
  
Cancer Immunotherapy

During the workshop, I learnt about the new break-through treatment called cancer Immunotherapy, which is a new way of treating cancer and known as immuno-oncology. This treatment uses the power of the body’s own immune system to prevent, control, and eliminate cancer. Immunotherapy only targeted at the patient cancer cells, by educating their immune system to recognize and attack specific cancer cells; boost immune cells to help them eliminate cancer and provide the body with additional components to enhance the immune response.

The Types of Cancer Immunotherapy

Cancer Immunotherapy comes in a variety of forms, including targeted antibodies, cancer vaccines, adoptive cell transfer, tumor-infecting viruses, checkpoint inhibitors, cytokines, and adjuvants. Some immunotherapy treatments use genetic engineering to enhance immune cells’ cancer-fighting capabilities and may be referred to as gene therapies.

Lung Cancer And Me, Cancer Treatments, Immunotherapy vs Chemotherapy Treatment, Lung Cancer in Malaysia, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, 5 Reasons Why and How Immunotherapy Can Help Cancer Patient, Cancer in Malaysia, best effective cancer treatment, immunotherapy, medical, health
Chemotherapy vs Immunotherapy
  
Chemotherapy vs Immunotherapy

My aunt went through a few rounds of chemotherapy treatments, after each treatment she was so drained and became weaker. It was heart breaking to see her suffering from chemotherapy side effects. Today, I’m glad to be able to share and spread the awareness about Immunotherapy treatment and the differences between Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy.

Basically, human cells go through different phases (cell cycle) as they form new cells. Cancer cells form new cells more rapidly than normal cells. Chemotherapy drugs affect cells at specific stages of a cell’s cycle. However, they do not differentiate between cancerous cells and healthy cells. 

Chemotherapy just kills all the cells being good or bad, ouchhh! Many healthy cells also have a rapid cell cycle, such as those in the gastrointestinal tract and hair follicles and thus, are more susceptible to the effects of chemotherapy resulting in nausea and hair loss during treatment.

Immunotherapy cancer treatments use the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells by stimulating the immune system. Immunotherapy includes treatments that work with the immune system in different ways and works better for some types of cancer than for others. Immunotherapy may be used by itself or with other types of treatment.

5 Reasons Why and How Immunotherapy Can Help Cancer Patient

1. Systematic

Immunotherapy has been an effective treatment for patients with certain types of cancer that have been resistant to chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

As of April 2019, the FDA has approved immunotherapies as treatments for nearly 20 cancers as well as cancers with a specific genetic mutation.

2. Targeted

Activates immune system to attack cancer cell specifically. Cancer researchers have discovered some of the differences within cancer cells that enable them to thrive. Targeted therapy refers to treatment with drugs that have been developed to ‘target’ these differences within the cell. Unlike chemotherapy, targeted therapy drugs alter the inner workings of the cell focusing on the part of the cancer cell that makes it different from the normal, healthy cell. Because they leave the healthy cells alone, the side effects of targeted therapies are different from standard chemotherapy treatments.

3. Durable

Immunotherapy offers the possibility for long-term cancer remission. Immunotherapy can “train” the immune system to remember cancer cells. This ‘immunomemory’ may result in longer-lasting remissions. 

Clinical studies on long-term overall survival have shown that the beneficial responses to cancer Immunotherapy treatment are durable that is, they can be maintained even after treatment is completed.

According to Dato’ Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, study showed that survival rate of Immunotherapy patients gone up to 1/3. For cancer stage 1 and 2 can be cure and for stage 3 and 4 the treatment can control the disease from spreading and also prolong the patients’ life.

4. Synergestic

Many immunotherapy treatments for preventing, managing, or treating different cancers can also be used in combination with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapies to improve their effectiveness.

5. Less Side Effects (than other treatments)

Cancer Immunotherapy may not cause the same side effects as chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer Immunotherapy is focused on the immune system and is often more targeted than conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. 

Both chemotherapy and radiation damage healthy cells, leading to common side effects such as hair loss and nausea/vomiting. These side effects may be less likely with immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy can be accompanied by side effects that differ from those associated with conventional cancer treatments. In many cases, these side effects are tolerable and can be reversed as long as they are addressed immediately.

Alright! I hope that you have a better understanding about Lung Cancer in Malaysia, Chemotherapy vs Immunotherapy, and also 5 Reasons Why and How Immunotherapy Can Help Cancer Patient.

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