is a type of treatment for cancer which administers powerful anti-cancer drugs into the body either through
external means or in some cases from internal delivery systems. The
drugs used are specialized medications which have the ability to travel through the bloodstream and then detect
cells which exhibit rapid and abnormal growth rates. These drugs
react with these cells and ultimately destroy them. Since cancer
cells have the distinct feature of rapid growth this can be a very effective way of identifying and destroying
cancer cells throughout the body. However this is not without its
drawbacks since the drugs used also have the tendency to attack other healthy cells which also show very rapid
growth rates. But advancements and improvements in the drugs used
and delivery systems applied which can limit the damage to healthy tissues. There are over fifty different types of drugs used in this type of treatment
and we will discuss some of the more common chemotherapy drugs.
The specific types of chemotherapy drugs administered will depend a lot on the kind of cancer involved, its stage
of development and factors related to the patient such as age and health. However some of the more common chemo drugs used can include the following:
Carbonplatin – This drug is used
primarily for head, neck, lung and ovarian cancers. It is
normally administered intravenously. This drug can cause a
number of side effects including hair loss, nausea, vomiting, lowered blood cell count, and
Cisplatin – Used for the
treatment of testicular cancer as well as cancer of the bladder and
ovaries. It is normally administered
intravenously. The side effects associated with the use
of this drug can include ringing in the ears, nausea, lowered blood count, and possible kidney
damage as a result of the drug passing through this organ.
Cyclphosphamide – This drug can be
used to treat breast cancer, cancer of the lymph system, and some forms of ovarian
cancer. It is usually taken in pill or liquid form
but can also be administered intravenously. Common
side effects associated with the application of this drug can include nausea, vomiting loss of
hair, problems with fertility, damage to the lungs and heart, and lower blood count.
Docetaxel – This drug is usually
given to treat cancer of the lungs, prostate and breasts.
It is normally administered intravenously. The side
effects which can be expected usually include thinning of the hair, rash, nausea, vomiting, and
numbness in the hands and feet.
Doxorubicin – This drug is often
used to treat more advanced cases of myeloma, lymphoma and breast cancer. It is usually administered intravenously. And the common side effects which can be expected include mouth
ulcers, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, heart problems, and hair loss.
Flourouracil – This is a commonly
used drug which can treat cancer of the breast, stomach, head, neck, and colon. The drug is usually administered intravenously. Common side effects include sensitivity to light, mouth ulcers, dry
skin, and diarrhea.
many other types of chemotherapy drugs used both individually and in combination. Your doctor will discuss the planned course of treatment and identify the
drugs he plans to use. There is a great deal of additional
information available on all of these drugs so you would be well advised to learn more about them so you have a
better understanding of what to expect. This can help to alleviate
some of the concern associated with treatment and put you in a better frame of mind to deal with the process and