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Tuesday17 October 2017

Star2 : A case for immunotherapy

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Vincent Chin, 67, woke up one morning and felt a lump the size of a 50sen coin on the right side of his neck.

An avid golfer, he didn’t think too much about it and went on with his daily routine.

However, the retired business administrator couldn’t help but feel uneasy about the lump, and so he decided to consult a doctor.

End result: he was diagnosed with stage 2/3 nasopharyngeal cancer in September 2015 after various consultations.

Wong Moh Tian, 63, had been experiencing problems with urination for the past year. He suffered from nocturia (frequent urination at night), dribbling and weak urine stream.

After some months, he decided to get himself checked as he was aware that the symptoms could be due to his prostate.

The diagnosis was made last February: stage 3 prostate cancer.

This is where the paths of these two men converged, albeit in different ways.

After his diagnosis, Chin was recommended chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but he was concerned about the side effects, especially of chemotherapy.

He decided to do his own research about the treatments available before his final decision.

Despite extensively researching the treatments available, he was still undecided.

Then he remembered a friend who had undergone immunotherapy for cancer, and decided to look into that as well.

After reading more into what the therapy entailed, and discovering that the treatment was available in Kuala Lumpur, he decided that he would go for this treatment.

In Wong’s case, a friend recommended the treatment to him, and after consulting with a specialist, he decided that it was the best option for him.

Hence, both Chin and Wong ended up choosing immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is a type of treatment that utilises a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer.

This is done either by stimula- ting and “directing” the immune system to attack cancer cells or providing man-made immune system proteins to fight the cancer.

It has become the current buzzword in cancer therapy, and immunotherapy is fast becoming an important part of treatment for certain types of cancer.


Read more at http://www.star2.com/people/2017/02/12/a-case-for-immunotherapy/

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