Finding the right treatment to treat your cancer isn’t always easy. Depending on the type of cancer, you might have a very limited number of treatment options or you might have a variety. Your cancer care team here at Stormont Vail Health will create a treatment option that fits you. This care plan will depend on the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer, your overall health, your personal preferences and more.

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The Stormont Vail Difference

At Stormont Vail Health, your healthcare team provides you and your family or support system with medical expertise and individual care. You have access to our cancer specialists, support groups, social workers and other services –– such as palliative medicine –– all integrated into your cancer care.

Immunotherapy uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy can boost or change how your immune system works so that it can find and attack cancer cells. If your cancer treatment plan includes immunotherapy, knowing how it works and what to expect can help you prepare for treatment.

What is Your Immune System

Your immune system protects your body from outside invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins (chemicals produced by microbes). It’s made up of different organs, cells, and proteins that work together to keep you healthy. Unfortunately, your immune system has a tougher time targeting cancer cells. This is due to the fact that cancer cells start as normal cells and the immune system doesn’t always recognize them as foreign.

Types of Immunotherapy

There are six types of immunotherapy:

Risk Factors

Side effects of immunotherapy vary depending on the type of immunotherapy you are receiving, as well as your overall health. Some common side effects include:

  • Skin reaction at the injection site, such as pain, redness, soreness
  • Flu-like symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chill
  • Weakness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Infections