The immune system and cancer

Science latest

The Immune System: The Body's Defense Department
Eating Well During Chemotherapy What is chemotherapy? Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. This happens either by disrupting the cancer cells so that they die naturally, or by causing cancer cells to function normally again. Nutritional support to boost immunity, fight cancer and heart disease, calm your nerves, and relieve allergies. We offer a wide range of services, from financial planning to creative arts to spiritual counsel, to support our patients through their cancer experiences. Stem cell transplants are mainly used in the treatment of cancers that affect blood cells, like leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. The action of the elixir to optimize pineal gland function ultimately improves thymus function also -- enabling the immune system to increase production of immune system cells in order to fight cancer.

Parts of the immune system

12 Questions to Ask BEFORE Saying “Yes” to Chemotherapy Treatment

This study demonstrated that AHCC enhanced the beneficial effects of the chemotherapy, while reducing detrimental side effects. The Anti-Cancer Drugs study concluded, "Taken together, the combination of Active Hexose Correlated Compound, plus chemotherapy, brought about good therapeutic effects, not only on primary tumor growth, but also on reducing metastasis and these effects were mediated by host immunity which was restored or activated by Active Hexose Correlated Compound.

The Japanese have traditionally used natural compounds from mushrooms to support the immune system. The makers of AHCC, Amino-Up Chemical Company of Sapporo, Japan, have improved on tradition by creating a proprietary hybrid of Shiitake and other types of medicinal mushrooms with historically proven health benefits.

The proprietary hybrid is cultivated under laboratory conditions in a liquid medium, rather than in the soil or wood growth medium that is natural to these fungi. This material is harvested and enzymatically modifiedÊ through a fermentation process to break the large polysaccharides normally found in medicinal mushrooms, in the , dalton range, down to a more bioactive size.

Technically speaking, the active component is an oligosaccharide, with a molecular weight of 5, daltons - a relatively small molecule, easily absorbed in the gut with an alpha, 1- 4 glucan structure. The safety of this new compound has been well established, both by itself and in combination with other therapies. In fact, AHCC is used in more than hospitals worldwide in their treatment of cancer patients.

This group records the details of hundreds of case histories and small studies that are reviewed and published annually.

Even after years of use, this natural extract caused no toxicity, adverse reactions, or unwanted side effects. Furthermore, the effects of Active Hexose Correlated Compound don't appear to decline with extended use. Patients have been followed for up to 8 years, and after discontinuing use, the immune system doesn't "crash" from exhaustion or hyperstimulation.

The dosages used in the previously mentioned clinical studies, as well as in earlier research, fall into two categories: As a form of prevention, take one gram per day or one mg pill in the morning and one at night. This dose will help increase your natural killer cell activity level and help build-up your immune system for general health and well being.

There are actually several studies that show that patients who use AHCC will go on to develop fewer cancers. For therapeutic use, take 3 grams per day two pills in the morning, two in the afternoon and two at night for three weeks and then one gram per day there after one in the morning and one at night.

Taking a higher dose in the beginning, or for the first three weeks, NK cell activity will build up quicker or reach its peak at a faster rate. Maintenance of that increased activity level will be achieved by taking one gram per day. For more information and copies of the research, please contact American BioSciences, Inc.

Nakagawa, A Hon-Kwon, Y. Combination therapy of active hexose correlated compound plus UFT significantly reduces the metastasis of rat mammary adenocarcinoma, Anti- Cancer Drugs The information contained in this article is not offered as cures, prescriptions, diagnoses, or a means of diagnosis to different conditions. It should be viewed as an objective compilation of existing data and research.

The author assumes no responsibility in the correct or incorrect use of this information and no attempt should be made to use any of this information without the approval and guidance of your doctor. AHCC also helps increase the production of specific cytokines, immune system chemical messengers, that include: Interferon, which directly inhibits the replication of viruses and other parasites and increases NK cell activity.

Tumor Necrosis Factor TNF , a group of proteins that help destroy cancer cells by triggering apoptosis programmed cell death. Interluekins IL-2 and IL, which suppress production of tumor growth factor TGF , stimulate still higher NK cell activity, and accelerate the differentiation and proliferation of T-cells.

The results were remarkable: Average survival was 23 months longer among patients who took Active Hexose Correlated Compound versus those who didn't. Overall survival was improved in the Active Hexose Correlated Compound group. No undesirable side effects were reported with the use of AHCC. Restored Natural Killer Cell activity inhibited by chemotherapy. Sometimes, chemotherapy is used as the only cancer treatment.

More often, you will get chemotherapy along with surgery, radiation therapy , or biological therapy. How does my doctor decide which chemotherapy drugs to use? Where do I go for chemotherapy? You may receive chemotherapy during a hospital stay, at home, or in a doctor's office, clinic, or outpatient unit in a hospital which means you do not have to stay overnight. No matter where you go for chemotherapy, your doctor and nurse will watch for side effects and make any needed drug changes.

How often will I receive chemotherapy? Treatment schedules for chemotherapy vary widely. How often and how long you get chemotherapy depends on:. You may receive chemotherapy in cycles.

A cycle is a period of chemotherapy treatment followed by a period of rest. For instance, you might receive 1 week of chemotherapy followed by 3 weeks of rest. These 4 weeks make up one cycle. The rest period gives your body a chance to build new healthy cells.

Can I miss a dose of chemotherapy? It is not good to skip a chemotherapy treatment. Sometimes your doctor or nurse may change your chemotherapy schedule. This can be due to side effects you are having.

If this happens, your doctor or nurse will explain what to do and when to start treatment again. How is chemotherapy given? Chemotherapy is often given through a thin needle that is placed in a vein on your hand or lower arm. Your nurse will put the needle in at the start of each treatment and remove it when treatment is over. Let your doctor or nurse know right away if you feel pain or burning while you are getting IV chemotherapy.

How will I feel during chemotherapy? Chemotherapy affects people in different ways. How you feel depends on how healthy you are before treatment, your type of cancer, how advanced it is, the kind of chemotherapy you are getting, and the dose.

Doctors and nurses cannot know for certain how you will feel during chemotherapy. Some people do not feel well right after chemotherapy. The most common side effect is fatigue , feeling exhausted and worn out. You can prepare for fatigue by:. Can I work during chemotherapy? Many people can work during chemotherapy, as long as they match their schedule to how they feel. Whether or not you can work may depend on what kind of work you do.

If your job allows, you may want to see if you can work part-time or work from home on days you do not feel well. Many employers are required by law to change your work schedule to meet your needs during cancer treatment.

Talk with your employer about ways to adjust your work during chemotherapy. You can learn more about these laws by talking with a social worker. Sometimes your doctor may advise you not to work from a period of time, such as when your immune system is low during chemotherapy. Can I take over-the-counter and prescription drugs while I get chemotherapy?

This depends on the type of chemotherapy you get and the other types of drugs you plan to take. Take only drugs that are approved by your doctor or nurse. Tell your doctor or nurse about all the over-the-counter and prescription drugs you take, including laxatives, allergy medicines, cold medicines, pain relievers, aspirin , and ibuprofen.

One way to let your doctor or nurse know about these drugs is by bringing in all your pill bottles. Your doctor or nurse needs to know:. Talk to your doctor or nurse before you take any over-the-counter or prescription drugs, vitamins , minerals , dietary supplements , or herbs.

Some of these products can change how chemotherapy works. For this reason, it is important to tell your doctor or nurse about all the vitamins , minerals, dietary supplements , and herbs that you take before you start chemotherapy. During chemotherapy, talk with your doctor before you take any of these products. How will I know if my chemotherapy is working? Your doctor will give you physical exams and medical tests such as blood tests and x-rays.

He or she will also ask you how you feel. You cannot tell if chemotherapy is working based on its side effects. Some people think that severe side effects mean that chemotherapy is working well. Or that no side effects mean that chemotherapy is not working. The truth is that side effects have nothing to do with how well chemotherapy is fighting your cancer.

How much does chemotherapy cost? What are clinical trials and are they an option for me? Cancer clinical trials also called cancer treatment studies or research studies test new treatments for people with cancer. These can be studies of new types of chemotherapy, other types of treatment, or new ways to combine treatments. The goal of all these clinical trials is to find better ways to help people with cancer.

Your doctor or nurse may suggest you take part in a clinical trial. You can also suggest the idea. Before you agree to be in a clinical trial, learn about:. Tips for meeting with your doctor or nurse. Your feelings during chemotherapy. It is normal to have a wide range of feelings while going through chemotherapy. After all, living with cancer and getting treatment can be stressful. You may also feel fatigue, which can make it harder to cope with your feelings.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about things that worry or upset you. You may want to ask about seeing a counselor. Your doctor may also suggest that you take medication if you find it very hard to cope with your feelings. Side effects are problems caused by cancer treatment. Some common side effects from chemotherapy are fatigue, nausea , vomiting , decreased blood cell counts, hair loss , mouth sores , and pain. Chemotherapy is designed to kill fast-growing cancer cells. But it can also affect healthy cells that grow quickly.

These include cells that line your mouth and intestines, cells in your bone marrow that make blood cells, and cells that make your hair grow. Chemotherapy causes side effects when it harms these healthy cells.

You may have a lot of side effects, some, or none at all. This depends on the type and amount of chemotherapy you get and how your body reacts. Before you start chemotherapy, talk with your doctor or nurse about which side effects to expect. How long side effects last depends on your health and the kind of chemotherapy you get.

Most side effects go away after chemotherapy is over. But sometimes it can take months or even years for them to go away. Sometimes, chemotherapy causes long-term side effects that do not go away.

These may include damage to your heart, lungs , nerves, kidneys, or reproductive organs. Some types of chemotherapy may cause a second cancer years later.

Ask your doctor or nurse about your chance of having long-term side effects. Doctors have many ways to prevent or treat chemotherapy side effects and help you heal after each treatment session. Talk with your doctor or nurse about which ones to expect and what to do about them. Make sure to let your doctor or nurse know about any changes you notice - they may be signs of a side effect.

I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time. What really causes cancer? Get the facts about how cancer spreads, symptoms and signs, cancer stages, and treatment options for the most common types of cancers. Metastasis, Stages of Cancer, and More. How was your chemotherapy administered? Were there any complications that resulted from the delivery method?

Main navigation