Cancer is widely known to be a potential killer disease that affects almost every individual in all ages, gender and race. Usually, cancer cells multiply very quickly, which makes it difficult to be treated successfully. In most cases, cancer cells spread out to other parts of the human body, which makes it more difficult to treat. There are a few ways to be able to treat different types of cancer such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy, and hormone therapy. However, in a chemotherapy treatment, a cancer patient can also receive medical drugs for the medication.
There are about six most common cancer drugs that are taken in by patients who undergo chemotherapy. These drugs are Paclitaxel, Gemcitabine, Etopisode, Anthracyclines, Toposisomerase inhibitors, and Alkylating agents.
Paclitaxel. This drug is advertised under Abraxane and Taxol brand names. This is a drug that causes the development of cancer cells to stop growing. Paclitaxel is most commonly applied in treating specified type of cancers — lungs and breast. The medication is given intravenously once in every three weeks. There are some side effects that roots from this drug such as diarrhea and vomiting, as well as causes the patient to suffer significant hair loss.
Gemcitabine. The primary function of this drug is to impede the cancer cell’s growth. The types of cancer usually treated with this drug are pancreatic, lung, and breast cancer. It is sold under Gemzar brand name. When taken in by the patient, certain side effects can be inflicted on the cancer patient including the swelling of the extremities, diarrhea, vomiting, as well as hair loss.
Etopisode. This medication is sold in the names of VP-16, Eposin, Etopophos, and Vepesid. Etopisode, primarily functions by getting rid of the cancer cells and eliminating them. The most common cancer types it treats are bone cancer and stomach cancer. At the same time, the drug also is used for the treatment of lung cancer and testicular cancer. This is usually received either through an injection or a tablet. Uncomfortable side effects can be caused by this medicine such as fatigue and weakness.
Anthracyclines. These medicines are sold under Adriamycin and Daunomycin brand names. These are classified as antitumor antibiotics, used as a common treatment for most types of cancer. Anthracyclines function by means of entirely attacking the tumor, which was caused by the cancer. The medicine should be prescribed in the appropriate dosage so that it will not cause permanent heart damage.
Toposisomerase inhibitors. These medicines like Doxorubicin are a different type of drugs that have an effect on the DNA. The primary function of the drug is to keep the DNA from being duplicated. The most common cancer types it treats are treat gastrointestinal cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer, as well as lung cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, this kind of drug can have the risk of developing a secondary cancer known as acute myelogenous leukemia.
Alkylating agents. These drugs such as Leukeran and Cytoxan works by damaging the body’s DNA. This can keep the cancer from multiplying further. This drug is most commonly used as a treatment for a lot of cancer types like lymphoma, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, as well as bone cancer. However, for some patients, this can possibly lead to leukemia, because the drug damages the DNA that damages bone marrow.