U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 42-year-old member asked:

How does the immune system fight cancer?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Complicated: Natural killer cells can recognize tumor cells and virally infected cells and destroy those. T-cells and antibodies to markers on tumor cells may also destroy tumor cells. Unfortunately, most of the time, some cancer cells evade this destruction and continue the disease process. The hope and potential of immune therapy remains to be realized.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Similar questions

A 30-year-old member asked:

What happens to the immune system during cancer?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Hematology and Oncology 37 years experience
Compromised: The immune system is frequently affected by chemotherapy. The risk of infections goes up.
A 37-year-old member asked:

Does the immune system protect against cancer too?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joel Gallant
Infectious Disease 36 years experience
Yes: That's why people with compromised immune systems (such as HIV infection) are at higher risk for certain types of cancers.
A 31-year-old member asked:

Can all cancers weaken your immune system?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
No: Liquid cancers of the blood (leukemia and lymphoma) can weaken the immune system and predispose a patient to infections. Other cancers only affect the overall immune system when they are very advanced and have spread throughout the bone marrow. It is true however, that all cancers have activated mechanisms in the body that shield them from the immune system and allow them to survive.
Waverly, NY
A 20-year-old female asked about a 43-year-old male:

Does having had cancer and being treated for it did it weaken your immune system?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
That would depend on: the type of treatment. Having surgery would not necessarily weaken immune system - however chemotherapy might. Was there a specific type of treatment that you had in mind?
A 46-year-old member asked:

Does the cure for cancer lie in the immune system?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
There will be no: Single cure for all cancers, but many fault immune system for inadequate detection of aberrant cells, called the "surveillance system". Those living with transplants are susceptible to higher risks of lymphoma and skin cancer, maybe others. Some immune modulators are used in prostate cancer. Intense, slow research effort here.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Dec 31, 2012

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.