The negative effects of immunotherapy can be quite severe, so it’s important to inform your physician as soon as you experience any abnormal symptoms. Those who are taking more than one immunotherapy drug, referred to as combination therapy, are at an increased risk of experiencing side effects.
Common Immunotherapy side effects include:
- Nausea or stomach discomfort
- Joint pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in blood cell counts
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas
- Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine
- Pneumonitis: Inflammation of the lungs
- Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver
- Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland
If you experience severe side effects, your doctor may need to temporarily or permanently stop your immunotherapy treatment. The goal of immunotherapy is to harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. However, not every person can tolerate the treatment.
It’s important to work closely with your doctor and report any adverse effects you’re experiencing. Immunotherapy is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer, but it’s not without risks. By being informed and working with your doctor, you can minimize the risk of severe side effects and maximize the benefits of immunotherapy treatment.