Cancer Drugs: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:33 by admin
Cancer describes a condition in which cells grow in an irregular fashion. There are many types of cancer including, but not limited to, lung, liver, bladder, kidney, skin, melanoma, mesothelioma, leukemia, nasal sinus, esophagus, throat, mouth, prostate, colon, rectal, cervical, uterine, ovarian, breast, testicular, pancreatic, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's disease. As you can see, cancer can occur just about anywhere in the body.

A normal and healthy cell can exhibit abnormal growth characteristics when a carcinogen (cancer inducing agent such as a pesticide, tobacco, sunlight, etc.) alters the cell's genetic material. This preliminary stage of cancer development is known as "initiation." The next phase is called promotion as the initiated cell (and therefore vulnerable cell) is "promoted" to a cancerous cell. Just because a cell has been promoted to a cancerous cell does not necessarily mean that the patient "has cancer." Often, the body's immune system is able to attack the cancerous cell and destroy it before it causes any damage. Unfortunately, people with poor or compromised immune systems may be unable to destroy these emerging cancer cells, thereby allowing the cell to continue growing until the person indeed "has cancer." The cancerous cells may multiply and cause a tumor. Cancer has "metastasized" if the cancerous cells have expanded beyond the tumor itself and spread into other parts of the body.

Treatment options vary depending on the type, location, and stage of the cancer's development. Common techniques include surgery to remove affected areas, chemotherapy and radiation. Some cancers respond extremely well to treatment, others may be incurable. Many substances (carcinogens), both natural and synthetic, have been shown to encourage the growth of cancerous cells.

If you believe you may have been exposed to a carcinogen it may be advisable to seek medical and legal assistance to protect your health and your legal rights. View sub-topics at right to learn more about some specific drugs used to treat cancer and some of the drugs' more serious adverse side effects.

See Also

  1. Alimta / Pemetrexed Disodium
  2. Aloe Therapy: Overview
  3. Altretamine / Hexalen: Overview
  4. Avastin / Bevacizumab
  5. Camptosar / Irinotecan Hydrochloride
  6. Chemotherapy / Alkylating Agents: Overview
  7. Cytosar-U / Cytarabine: Overview
  8. Prescription & Over-the-Counter Drugs: Overview
  9. Eloxatin / Oxaliplatin: Overview
  10. GnRH-a Therapy: Overview
  11. Herceptin / Trastuzumab
  12. Hydrazine Sulfate: Overview
  13. Lupron / Leuprolide
  14. Neumega / Oprelvekin
  15. Neupogen / Filgrastim
  16. Nolvadex / Tamoxifen Citrate: Overview
  17. Platinol / Cisplatin: Overview
  18. Proleukin / Aldesleukin: Overview
  19. Radioactive Iodine (RAI): Overview
  20. Taxol / Paclitaxel
  21. Taxotere / Docetaxel
  22. Trisenox / Arsenic Trioxide
  23. Xeloda / Capecitabine
  24. Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS)
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