There are many types of chemotherapy that you could be told will be used to help treat your cancer. Ultimately, your doctor will determine the best treatment for you based on a couple of specific considerations. First, they need to understand your cancer well enough, which means knowing where it is located, what type it is, what stage it is in as well as where the location of tumors are. From here, they will find the most appropriate treatment plan for you, which most often include some form of chemotherapy. With the help of other treatment means, including radiation therapy and surgery, doctors can isolate, kill as well as remove cancer cells from your body so that you go into remission.
Types Of Cancer
There are many types of cancer and doctors must work to determine which the best option for your individual case is. Breast cancer chemotherapy is much different than lung cancer chemotherapy, for example. They will require different techniques, different aggression plans as well as different chemotherapy drugs to treat them. Many times, doctors must use a combination of medications within the chemotherapy to accomplish the necessary goals of curing your cancer.
Types Of Chemotherapy Drugs
There are also several types of chemotherapy drugs, based on the way that they are used and the reactions they have. The drugs are divided into groups based on the way that they work within the cancer cell (the way that chemical substances in the cancer react to them.) Additionally, they are divided by what cellular processes the drug interacts with and the drug affects. By knowing the different ways that these drugs work, and knowing what you need them to accomplish, doctors can get the best results from the chemotherapy treatment that they administer.
Here are few of the different types of chemotherapy drugs you may hear about.
- Alkylating Agents: This type of drug works to damage the DNA within the cancer cell. When it does this, it does not allow the cancer cell to reproduce. They work in all phases of cancer. They work well against chronic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, breast cancer and several other types.
- Nitrosoureas: This type of chemotherapy drug works similar to that of Alkylating drugs. These will interfere with the enzymes that work in the cell to copy and repair DNA. They are able to work in various stages of cancer. They work well in brain tumors because of their rare ability to travel from the blood into the brain. They also treat other forms of cancer.
- Antimetabolites: DNA and RNA growth in cells is damaged or interfered with when these types of drugs are used. They work best in the S phase of the cancer and can be used to treat breast cancer, ovary cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancers, as well as leukemia.
- Anthracyclines and Related Medications: These are antibiotics that fight against the tumor using enzymes that are necessary for DNA replication. They work in all stages of cancer. They can be used in a wide range of cancers. These drugs, though, are limited because over time they can damage heart muscles.
Many of these drugs can be taken as oral chemotherapy, injected into veins, or taking through other methods as necessary.
Doctors work to determine the best type of chemotherapy for you. With many types of chemotherapy drugs to choose from, doctors do have many options. More so, new cancer curing drugs are always coming on the market. As they do, you may have more chances to fight the cancers you are facing. If you have questions about how the drugs you are taking work, your doctor can help.