Cancer Drugs – Learning More About Cancer Medication

There are many types of cancer that people may suffer from but one thing that stays similar is the types of medication that they may be using. There are many forms of medication that you may be prescribed with various types of side effect to go with each. Your doctor will go over your particular case with you and determine which type of treatment is the best.

Your treatment may consist of such treatments as Chemotherapy, Hormone therapy, Biological therapy, Alternative and complimentary therapy and of course drug treatment. Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs which are done intravenously, by mouth, Injectable and topical applications. They stop the growth of cancer cells as they destroy the cells. This type of treatment is usually done in cycles. They will usually alternate treatments with rest periods to allow the person to recuperate.

Some of the anti-cancer medications that your doctor may use may include such medications as: Hexalen, Elspar, Blenoxane, Xeloda, Idamycin and Doxil just to name a few. Most cancer medications come with a hefty list of side effects. Unfortunately the necessity of the medication makes it almost impossible to avoid side effects. If you suffer from severe side effects your doctor will most likely prescribe another medication to counter act the side effects.

Some of the side effects that you may or may not experience with cancer medications might be: Feeling very tired and weak, more susceptible to infections and they can bleed and bruise easily. Keep in mind that you can use other drugs to counteract the side effects and that makes it much easier for you to undergo the necessary cancer treatment.

Radiation therapy is the form of treatment where they use ionizing radiation. This type of treatment kills off the cell in the area that is being treated. This makes it impossible for the cells to grow back. Often times the area of cancer will be surgically removed and then the radiation and chemotherapy will start. If you choose to do the hormone therapy, this is where you will be given hormones to change the way your cells grow in your body.

Biological therapy is also known as Immunotherapy as it helps you make use of your immune system to help with your side effects from other medications as well as fighting off the cancer cells.

No matter which form of cancer you suffer from, be sure to keep a good line of communication open with your doctor. Educate yourself on all of your medications and be sure to know what side effects that you may or may not experience. Before starting any type of new treatment, be sure to discuss all of your options with your oncologist. He or she will be more than happy to go over your treatment plan in detail so you can be well informed on what to expect. If you find a medication that you are interested in then bring this up with your doctor as well so that he or she can consider it as a possibility or let you know why it is not a good choice.

Different Types of Breast Cancer Drugs

As breast cancer survivors would attest, the journey to purging the body of the cancer cells is not easy. The good thing about the struggles that one has to overcome during treatment however is the fact that one feels like a real winner when health is finally regained. The easiest way to handle treatment is to gain knowledge about the breast cancer drugs and their side effects. Once this is done, the patient is in a better position to prepare him or herself psychologically for the treatment regimens and the effects that may come with them.

Some of the most common breast cancer drugs are used in chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy. Drugs in the chemotherapy regimen are intended to stop further multiplication of the cancer cells. They include drugs such as Flurouracil, Epurubicin, Clyclophosphamide, Adrriamycin Methotrexate, and Mitozantrone among others. Some of these cancer treatments are used in combination in order to give the patient maximum benefits. The most common side effects experienced when the chemotherapy drugs are used include hair loss, nausea, premature menopause, fatigue, hot flashes, and temporary low blood count. Once complete healing is attained however, most of these side effects disappear. Some like menopause are however permanent.

Hormone therapy includes the use of cancer drugs such as Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin. Tamoxifen is specifically used in pre-menopausal women, while Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin are administered on postmenopausal women. Drugs administered under the hormone therapy regimen inhibit cancer cells from growing by preventing the release of the estrogen hormone by the body. The hormone therapy drugs are often used after breast cancer surgery to prevent further growth of cancer cells in the breasts. Taxol is also another cancer drug that falls in the hormonal inhibiting category. The drug is specifically administered to patients who had received Adriamycin during chemotherapy. Some of the noted side effects for the drugs as used in the hormone therapy regimen are manifested through vaginal dryness and hot flashes. When Taxol is used, patients may experience tingling or numbness of their feet and hands, and muscular pains. Painful joints are also a common complaint among patients receiving Taxol treatment. Other drugs such as Herceptin fall in the biological therapy regimen. Drugs in this category work by boosting the patient’s immune system. The immune system in turn acts by destroying existing cancer cells.

The specific type of breast cancer drugs to be used on an individual patient is determined by the oncologist based on the patient’s condition. Depending on the patients age, health condition, resistance to specific cancer treatments and the stage of cancer, the oncologist may recommend different or a combination of breast cancer treatments. Notably however, the list of cancer drugs will continue growing in coming days, especially because researchers continue investigating newer and more effective treatment methods. Patients may also benefit from newer drug discoveries through taking part in clinical trials.