Do you have a family member or friend who is suffering from a critical health issue like cancer? If yes, then you must be worried about their health condition. Isn’t it? Well, cancer is an extremely severe health disease. Unfortunately, the disease can cause very serious health impacts. That’s why it’s important that you know the right drugs that can be used for cancer treatment.
If you have a concise idea about cancer drugs, then you will be able to make informed health decisions for your near and dear ones! So, if you are now interested to reveal all the details about cancer drugs, then please keep reading the following sections and reveal the required info.
Chemotherapy: Most Common Treatment for Cancer
If you are looking for the most common treatment option for cancer, then chemotherapy is indeed one of the best recommendations. The treatment is used for two purposes. First of all, chemotherapy can kill cancer cells. Secondly, it can even stop or pause the growth and spread of cancer cells.
In addition to chemotherapy, there are newer versions of advanced cancer-fighting drugs that should also be used for better results. You can either take chemotherapy through pills or you can even take shots.
Please note that chemotherapy is a prolonged process. Depending on the type and severity of cancer that a patient is having, they may need to undergo the treatment every day, every single week, and every month. While chemotherapy treatment can stop the growth of cancer cells, it causes negative impacts on the healthy cells as well. To be more precise, chemotherapy not only destroys the cancer cells but also may kill the new, healthy cells. That’s why you may need to take additional pills to help your body gain enough strength. Let’s now quickly take a look at how chemotherapy works!
How Does Chemotherapy Work?
The treatment option kills cancerous as well as healthy cells. That’s why you might need to undertake additional pills to support your body. It keeps the tumors from growing blood vessels. It even attacks the genes of cancer cells so that they die and do not lead to new tumors.
Cancer Treatment Cancer Drugs: Know the Types
Damages DNA of Cancer Cells: There are certain drugs that damage the DNA of cancer cells that keep them from making more copies. These are known as alkylating agents. Please note that these are the oldest form of chemotherapy. This treatment option is used to cure different types of cancer, such as lymphoma, sarcoma, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, and more. This treatment can even treat some other forms of cancer like lungs, breasts, and ovarian cancers.
You must intake this particular type of cancer drug at a very little amount. That’s because it can cause significant side effects. One of the major side effects of alkylating agents is that they destroy your bone marrow while killing bad cancer cells.
Anthracycline Chemotherapy: This is another treatment technique in which the enzymes inside a cancer cell and its DNA get affected. In this way, it prevents the DNA from further dividing and growing. Examples of such anthracycline chemotherapy drugs are doxorubicin, actinomycin-D, daunorubicin, and bleomycin. Note, these drugs are highly effective in treating different types of cancer. However, these are all anti-tumor antibiotics and hence you should be careful about their dosage. For example, if you intake high doses of these drugs, then they can damage both your lungs and heart.
Miotic Inhibitors: Have you heard about mitotic inhibitors? Well, these drugs stop the cancer cells from making replicas i.e. more copies of themselves. Please note that there is a certain type of protein that is needed to grow the cancer cells. If somehow the source of that protein is stopped, then the subsequent growth of cancer cells can also be prevented. Mitotic inhibitors perform the very same action and that’s why they are extremely effective for treating breast as well as lung cancers. In addition to it, these drugs can also be effective in treating lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma.
Topoisomerase Inhibitors: In the previous sections, you have heard about mitotic inhibitors. Now, let’s talk about topoisomerase inhibitors. The working principle of topoisomerase inhibitors is also quite similar to mitotic inhibitors. These drugs also attack the enzymes that help cancer cells to divide and grow. On top of that, these medicines can even treat some types of leukemia as well. In addition to it, these medicines can treat cancer in the ovaries, intestines, and lungs.
Antimetabolites: As the name implies, this particular variant of cancer drugs is effective for the treatment of leukemia. In addition to it, they can even prevent cancer in the ovaries, intestines, and breasts. Antimetabolites medicines interfere and prevent the normal metabolism of the cells. Due to that, the cancer cells will stop growing. If you are now looking for antimetabolite drugs, then you can opt for mercaptopurine, methotrexate, gemcitabine, and cytarabine.
Steroids: Steroids are a special type of drug. These drugs will act like your body’s own natural hormones. They can be particularly helpful in treating different types of cancer. Steroid drugs also have a special purpose i.e. they help your body from the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Some of the commonly used steroid drugs are dexamethasone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone.
With this, you have revealed six different types of cancer treatment. Here’s the list of drugs that have been discussed above:
- Alkylating agents
- Anthracycline chemotherapy
- Miotic inhibitors
- Topoisomerase inhibitors
- Steroid drugs
These chemo drugs are effective in treating different types of cancers. But, you should be careful and take account of the following three factors before you start intaking these medicines:
- The specific type of cancer the patient is having
- If you have had cancer previously or not
- If you have additional health problems like heart, kidney, liver disease, and diabetes
In case you have diabetes or other critical health diseases, then you must be careful, and please take the doctor’s advice and recommendations (as needed).