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Helping the Immune System Fight Cancer

Helping the Immune System Fight Cancer

Vaccines to fight cancer
A vaccine is a very common way of building up the immune system to fight infection. Using vaccines to fight breast cancer is relatively new, however, and still considered experimental. A vaccine for breast cancer may consist of an antigen cocktail of weakened or essentially dead elements of breast cancer cells that could stimulate an antibody response. …

The Immune System’s Defense Team

The Immune System’s Defense Team

Antibodies
Antibodies are specialized fighter proteins that your body produces in response to specific antigens. The two are attracted to each other, linking up like puzzle pieces, so that the antibody can destroy the antigen. Antibodies kill antigens in several ways, including:

making them clump together so they can’t move; macrophages, a type of white blood cell, can then swallow them up
punching …

CT Scan

CT Scan

What is a CT scan?
A computerized axial tomography scan is an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. Computerized axial tomography is more commonly known by its abbreviated names, CT scan or CAT scan. A CT …

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

What is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy (also called chemo) is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells.
How does chemotherapy work?
Chemotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. But it can also harm healthy cells that divide quickly, such as those that line your mouth and intestines or cause your hair …

Cancer

Cancer

What is cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body. The abnormal cells are termed cancer cells, malignant cells, or tumor cells. Many cancers and the abnormal cells that compose the cancer tissue are further identified by the name of the tissue that the abnormal cells originated from (for example: breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, …

Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy

What is radiation therapy?
In radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy), high-energy rays are used to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing and dividing. A specialist in radiation therapy is called a radiation oncologist.
What are the types of radiation therapy?
Like surgery, radiation therapy is a local treatment; it affects cancer cells only in the treated area. Radiation can come from …