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What do our cells do when we have cancer?

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White blood cells are your body’s main response to attacks from germs and abnormal cells like those that cause cancer. Another way our bodies fight disease is to attack antigens. This is the name for any substance your bodies doesn’t recognize and works to fight off.

Doctors think our bodies know cancer cells are foreign and battle them at first. But then, like insects that get resistant to certain pesticides, cancer cells change. They make our bodies think they’re harmless so our defense system doesn’t attack.

SOURCES:

National Cancer Institute: “Biological Therapies for Cancer,” “Cancer Vaccines,” “Immunotherapy,” “More Immunotherapy Options Approved for Lung Cancer,” “NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Antigen,” “What is Cancer?”

American Cancer Society: “Immunotherapy: Disrupting the Cancer Treatment World,” “Immunotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Lung Cancer Alliance: “Immunotherapy for Lung Cancer: A Patient Guide.”

Cancer Research Institute: “Cancer Immunotherapy: Lung Cancer.”

Cancer Support Community: “Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Treatments for Advanced and Metastatic Lung Cancer.”

National Comprehensive Cancer Network: “NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Lung Cancer.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on August 21, 2019

SOURCES:

National Cancer Institute: “Biological Therapies for Cancer,” “Cancer Vaccines,” “Immunotherapy,” “More Immunotherapy Options Approved for Lung Cancer,” “NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Antigen,” “What is Cancer?”

American Cancer Society: “Immunotherapy: Disrupting the Cancer Treatment World,” “Immunotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

Lung Cancer Alliance: “Immunotherapy for Lung Cancer: A Patient Guide.”

Cancer Research Institute: “Cancer Immunotherapy: Lung Cancer.”

Cancer Support Community: “Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Treatments for Advanced and Metastatic Lung Cancer.”

National Comprehensive Cancer Network: “NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Lung Cancer.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on August 21, 2019

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How does immunotherapy help your body fight cancer?

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