Available Chemotherapy Drugs
Available Chemotherapy Drugs: The lifesaving medicines
Chemotherapy is a type of treatment where the cancer cells are destroyed with the help of strong drugs. The therapy is always given as an injection or drip. A lot of research is being to develop new chemotherapy drugs are being developed every day. The drugs given during the treatment depends on the type and stage of cancer, age and health of the patient. Hence the chemotherapy drugs vary from person to person.
A woman suffering from breast cancer will receive a different type of chemotherapy drugs because the structure of the cancerous cells is different. Side-effects are associated with chemotherapy because sometimes the drugs while destroying the cancerous cells tend to destroy the healthy ones too. This affects the health of the patient. The patient might suffer from many side effects like hair loss, nausea and lowering of immunity system, infertility and in some cases, a lowered sexual urge. But there are some drugs that reduce the side effect of chemotherapy drugs. Most of these side effects are predictable and hence can be managed to some extent. For example, to counter with nausea and vomiting, the doctors can prescribe some anti emetics for chemotherapy.
Apart from chemotherapy, other treatments for cancer are also available. These treatments include hormone therapy and bone marrow transplants. These are special treatments that are meant for some particular type of cancers. Various researches are being done to develop new drugs and ways to help the patients fight with the cancerous cells. Various details about the latest treatment can be had from cancer organizations.
Apart from chemotherapy drugs there are organizations who try to give support to the patients through their treatment. The approach taken by them is generally holistic. Though the medical establishment does not approve of the system but it does provide relief to the patients. It does a great role in reducing the side effects of conventional therapy and is also a great stress buster. Patients too have given positive feedback about the approach.
There are different types of chemotherapy drugs that are available. The drugs can be put into several groups. The division is done on the basis of the chemical reaction that drugs have on the cancer cells. The oncologists have a thorough knowledge about these drugs and know which drug or regimen should be used for which cancer.. This also helps them to chalk out a treatment plan for cancer patient.
Apart from available chemotherapy drugs, there are other drugs and treatments through which cancer is treated. One such method is the BCG treatment for cancer, which is used in the treatment of bladder cancer. Some other treatments include hormonal treatment for breast cancer, targeted therapy, gene therapy and so on. The difference between these drugs and chemotherapy drugs are that chemotherapy drugs are designed in such a way that while destroying the cancer cells, which grow in a rapid manner, they also kill the healthy cells. The other treatments and drugs target more on the cancerous cells than the healthy cells and the side effects are comparatively less. They are generally used in combination with chemotherapy.
Some of the common available chemotherapy drugs include:
- Carboplatin: this is used for cancer of the lungs, head and neck and ovary; and is given intravenously
- Cisplatin: used for the treatment of cancer of ovary, testicles, and ovary; and is given intravenously
- Docetaxel or Taxotere: used for the cancer of breast, prostate and lung; and is given intravenously
- Cyclophosphamide or Neosar: used for the treatment of cancer of the breast, lymphoma, and ovary; and is given intravenously
- Etoposide or VePesid: used for cancer of lymphoma, testicles, leukemia, lung; and is given intravenously as well as orally
- Erotinib: it is used for the treatment of non small cell lung cancer; and is given orally
- 5-FU or fluoroucil: used for the treatment of cancer of the head and neck, colon, breast and stomach; and is given intravenously
- Vinorelbine: it is used for the treatment of cancer of breast, lung, cervical, ovary, esophageal, head and neck, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It can be given both orally and intravenously.
- Vincristine: used for lymphoma and leukemia; and is given intravenously
- Fludarabine: used for treatment of chronic CLL, relapsed CLL, AML, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma; and is given intravenously
- Sunitinib: used for the treatment of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) and kidney cancer in the advanced stages; it given orally
- Faslodex: used for the treatment of breast cancer in the advanced stages; it is given intravenously
- Fluorouracil: used in the treatment of cancer of colon, rectum, anal, and esophagus; it is given intravenously
The above mentioned drugs can be used for the conditions that have not been mentioned above. They can be used alone or in combination with other drugs. Most of these available chemotherapy drugs have side effects that are predictable and manageable. The doctors prescribe some medicines to minimize the side effects. There are more than 50 chemotherapy drugs which are commonly used by the doctors to treat various types of cancers. Research is being conducted to find out better methods and drugs to combat this deadly disease.