Cancer patients who receive immunotherapy have their immune systems activated to fight cancer cells. It has possible negative consequences even if it is a viable therapy choice. Patients and their caregivers can better plan for treatment and handle any side effects by being aware of these impacts.
Common Immunotherapy Side Effects
Immunotherapy’s most frequent adverse effects are weariness, flu-like symptoms, and skin responses. These adverse reactions can happen during or after therapy and can range in severity from moderate to severe.
- Fatigue: Immunotherapy frequently results in fatigue as a side effect. Patients may experience fatigue or weakness and require more frequent periods of rest than normal. Getting enough sleep and conserving energy are crucial during treatment.
- Flu-like signs: Immunotherapy frequently causes flu-like side effects, such as fever, chills, and muscular aches. These side effects could appear soon after therapy and could persist for several days.
Rashes and itching are common side effects of immunotherapy, as are other skin reactions. The injection site or other locations on the body may experience these effects.
Managing Immunotherapy Side Effects
The adverse effects of immunotherapy can be managed in a number of ways. Patients should discuss any symptoms they experience with their healthcare physician. To treat symptoms like weariness, flu-like symptoms, or skin problems, the healthcare professional may be able to give medicine.
Additionally, patients can control their symptoms at home by doing things like: resting when necessary; eating a good diet; staying hydrated; and avoiding germ exposure.
- Using sunscreen to protect the skin
- Applying moisturizer to dry or itchy skin
How to Know When to Seek Medical Help?
You should seek for medical attention if the patient experiences any severe or persistent side effects, such as:
- Severe exhaustion
- High fever
- Shortness of breath
- Severe skin reactions
- Diarrhea or vomiting that lasts more than 24 hours, they should see a doctor.
To address the side effects, the healthcare professional may occasionally need to modify the patient’s treatment regimen or prescribe extra medications.
Many different types of cancer can benefit from immunotherapy, but it can also have negative side effects.
Patients can confidently continue their cancer treatment by managing any symptoms that may emerge and by being aware of these side effects and working closely with their healthcare provider.