Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer
Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer

Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 4 (1648 words)
  • Published: November 23, 2021
Text preview

The immune system commonly known as the defense mechanism operates similarly as the circulatory system of the body. Some of the vital organs involved in the immune system include the spleen, tonsils, thyroid, lymph nodes and adenoids. Naturally, the immune system is able to fight foreign cells that may be harmful to the body. Due to some reasons, for instance, the food that we eat and to some extent our lifestyle, the efficiency of the immune system is interfered with. If the body cannot fight against foreign cells, then such abnormal cells as cancer multiply at such a rate that the immune system cannot control them. Therefore, this research is focused on establishing how best our immune system can be nourished to be able to fight against such diseases as cancer.

Cancer currently is one of the deadliest diseases killing people across the world regardless of their age. Generally, cancer simply refers to abnormal growth of cells that rapidly multiply despite restriction of space and nutrients. For the sake of diagnosis and early treatment of cancer, there is a branch of medicine known as oncology set aside to deal specifically with this menace. As mentioned early on in the abstract above, our diets as well as lifestyle are the key factors that determine the ability of the immune system of our bodies to fight dise


ase causing microorganisms. The immune system, if well nourished, plays a very key role on the body’s overall wellbeing. In order to fight diseases successfully, every single part of the body has to effectively and efficiently function at its optimal level. This becomes a little bit challenging considering the numerous disease causing microorganisms that the body is exposed to each single day.

The immune system works by distinguishing foreign agents, viruses and bacteria that are harmful to the body and destroys them. If the immune system is weakened, pollutants, toxins and germs can get their way through the immune defenses and attach themselves on the receptor sites. With time, they are able to eat away the cell membrane and find their way into the cells. When the pathogens enter into the cells, they replicate by changing the cellular DNA. This is how infections usually spread throughout the body and a small breakdown in the immune system leaves the body susceptible to illness.

For us to understand the concept of building up our immunity system to fight cancer, we have to look at its core causes. From a scientific view, cancer has no specific single cause. It instead results from an interaction of several factors which may be environmental, genetic or personality. The various causes of cancer are discussed below.

  • Processed foods

Processed foods like red meat involves use of nitrites as preservatives and also act like food color. Usually nitrites form chemicals called N-nitroso compounds which are known to cause cancer. Similarly, red meat contains a lot of iron content which may still form the N-nitroso compounds.

  • Too much alcohol

Alcohol contains ethanol that is converted into a chemical known as acetaldehyde when consume

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay
View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

in human bodies. There are bacteria on the lining of the mouth and the entire digestive system that convert ethanol to acetaldehyde. This chemical changes the DNA composition of a cell and stops any possible repair of the cell. It also causes abnormal multiplication of cells in the liver leading to an uncontrollable growth; cancer.

  • Lifestyle

A person’s lifestyle has diverse factors that can trigger development of cancer. For example, stress, grief, lack of exercise, constant worry, excessive athletic training and excessive fear. All these factors may lead to gene mutation on the cell hence cause cancer.

  • Smoking

Tobacco additives such as flavorants, humectants and coumarin are known to change the genetic composition of a human cell therefore causing cancer. Direct smoke from cigarettes affects lung cells leading to abnormal cell growth.

As defined earlier, immune system is the ability of the human body to fight disease causing germs. Having looked at the causes of cancer, we need to consider how the immune system of the body should be harnessed in order to be able to fight against diseases. Generally, one should avoid some of the things mentioned above as causing cancer and embrace a lifestyle that minimizes the chances of suffering from cancer. In a more detailed research, we have come up with a list of principles that may empower our immune system in order to avoid cancer.

Harnessing the Immune System (Immunotherapy Treatment)

This is a type of cancer treatment that is designed to boost the body’s immunity to fight cancer. Opposite to chemotherapy which fights cancer directly, Immunotherapy harnesses the immune system of the patient to attack cancer. This method is employed by either stimulating the immune system so that it can work smarter or harder to fight cancerous cells or providing the components of the immune system with artificial system proteins that act as repellents to cancer cells. It has been proven that this new approach to treating cancer is working faster as compared to older ways. It works by melting down tumors and remitting terminal diseases that used to take a long time to cure. The substances used are either made in the body or from the laboratory to restore immune system function. A number of immunotherapy types have been discovered including monoclonal antibodies, non-specific immunotherapies, T-cell therapy, cancer vaccines and oncolytic virus therapy (Grady, 2016).

Monoclonal antibodies are a type of therapy made in the laboratory and are used to block an abnormal protein in a cancer cell. Non-specific immunotherapies also help the body to boost its immune system and are given either after or at the time of other methods of cancer treatment like chemotherapy. T-cell therapy involves removing T-cells from a patient’s blood and changing them to have specific proteins called receptors. It is these receptors that recognize cancer cells hence destroying them. Cancer vaccine exposes the immune system to antigen triggering it to recognize and destroy the cancer cells. Immune therapy is given through; intravenous method where the immunotherapy goes straight to the vein, oral method where the immunotherapy comes in the form of pills or capsules for swallowing, topical method where the patient rubs it at the

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay