This cancer treatment, commonly called "chemo," uses powerful drugs to target the cancer cells in your body. These drugs kill your cancer cells, or slow their growth and keep them from spreading. Chemotherapy can be used on its own. It can also be combined with other cancer treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy.
Cancer treatments like traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy are designed to kill cancer cells. But they also harm healthy cells. This can cause serious side effects. Targeted therapy is a different type of treatment. It targets only the cancer cells in your body. This minimizes the damage to healthy cells.
Your immune system helps detect and destroy invading germs. But because cancer cells are made from your own tissue, your immune system may not always see these cells as something that should be attacked. The goal of biological therapy, also called "immunotherapy," is to help your immune system recognize and fight cancer cells. There are several types of biological therapies. Let's look at the three main types.
Biological therapy patients are treated with substances commonly thought of as "natural." Your treatment may use proteins or other materials naturally produced by the human body. These are usually easier on your body than strong chemotherapy drugs. But biological therapy, also called "immunotherapy," does have side effects.
Managing Side Effects
Bone marrow is a soft, spongy tissue found inside the large bones in your body. It's where new blood cells are made. Bone marrow can be damaged by disease. It can be destroyed by chemotherapy or by radiation therapy. A bone marrow transplant uses healthy stem cells to rebuild your damaged bone marrow.