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This Vaccine Is Believed To Be Able To Cure Cancer

This Vaccine Is Believed To Be Able To Cure Cancer

Many of us have been touched by the hardship and tragedy of cancer. That is why the prospect of a vaccination that could help in the treatment and management of cancer can elicit such strong emotions and reactions. Being able to cure a patient with a vaccine could prove to be much simpler and less harrowing than having a patient go through high doses of harsh chemo or radiotherapy.

The exciting new vaccine is being trialed in the U.K. Two people have already been given the vaccine, at Guy’s Hospital in London. One of these people is 35-year old Kelly Potter.  She was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer last summer. Kelly says that being a participant in the study has “changed [her] life for the better,” further commenting that “it’s fantastic to be part of something that could be ground-breaking.” It is hoped that 30 patients will take part in the study over the course of a two-year period.

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About the vaccine

The vaccine is currently being given together with low doses of chemotherapy. It is believed that this combination will kill some of the tumor cells and help the immune system to function more effectively.  Those who are administering the trial believe that the vaccine could work on all types of solid tumors. They are also conducting tests to see if the vaccine is safe to use on patients with terminal cancer.

How vaccines work

The vaccines we are familiar with, that are used to protect us against certain infections, work in much the same way as the cancer vaccine.  Vaccines work by helping the immune system acquire new immunity to diseases. Acquired immunity occurs when the body learns from being exposed to a disease or illness. The body leans to recognize the disease and the next time it attempts to invade the body the immune system is set up and ready to fight off the disease.

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Vaccinations work by containing a small amount of a protein from a disease. The amount of the disease is so small that it is not harmful to the body, but it does give the immune system a chance to recognize the disease so it is prepared if it encounters it in the future.

In normal situations our immune system works to protect us against cancer by killing tumor cells. However, sometimes our immune system ‘misses’ these cancer cells. When cancer cells are not destroyed by the immune system they are left to grow and then they can work to suppress the immune system, making it less effective. Cancer can weaken the immune system by entering the bone marrow, as the bone marrow makes the blood cells that help fight infections. In some cases the tumor cells also do damage to the immune cells.

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The science behind the new cancer vaccine

The new cancer vaccine is designed to use the body’s own immune system to attack and destroy the cancer cells. There is an enzyme found in cancer cells that is involved in the division of the cancer cells. This enzyme is called human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). The new vaccine is made up of small fragments of this enzyme. The idea is that by injecting these enzymes into a patient’s body the patient’s immune system will be stimulated to produce the antibodies that can target this enzyme, which will help in the destruction of the cancer cells.

This possible revolutionary vaccine could make a difference to many cancer sufferers. If the trial proves to be a success, then it would mean that many patients suffering from cancer will be given a much needed medical assistance and hope.

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Featured photo credit: Center of Excellence via zci-cervirvac.hr

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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