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This list of cancer treating drugs details the function, uses, and side effects of fifteen medications prescribed for various types of cancer.
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Breast Cancer Drugs
These drugs are among those commonly used in the treatment of breast cancer:
Cytoxan Oral (cyclophosphamide)--a chemotherapy drug that also treats leukemia, ovarian cancer, and lymphoma.
Side effects: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, hair loss
Warnings: not recommended for pregnant/breastfeeding women, side effects may increase in children and the elderly
Tamoxifen Oral--a drug that treats metastastic breast cancer.
Side effects: nausea, headache, hot flashes, hair loss
Warnings: rare risk of blood clots, stroke, or development of uterine cancer, not recommended for pregnant/breastfeeding women
Arimidex Oral (anastrozole)--a breast cancer drug for women who have gone through menopause.
Side effects: weight changes, hair loss, constipation, nausea, body aches
Warnings: limit alcohol, use caution when driving, not for pregnant/breastfeeding women
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Ovarian Cancer Drugs
Women who have ovarian cancer may be treated with drugs such as:
Paraplatin (carboplatin)--an intravenous medication that also treats endometrial, testicular, lung, bladder, and esophageal cancer.
Side effects: hair loss, vomiting, lowered white blood cell count, diarrhea, constipation
Warnings: not for pregnant women, not for those with kidney/liver disease, may cause sterility
Abiplatin (cisplatin)--an Intravenous medication that also treats cervical, ovarian, testicular, endometrial, and bladder cancer.
Side effects: hair loss, lowered white blood cell count, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea
Warnings: may cause sterility, not for those with kidney damage, not for pregnant women
Taxotere (docetaxel)--an IV drug that also treats lung, stomach, ovarian, esophageal, prostate, and bladder cancer.
Side effects: fatigue, severe nausea/vomiting, swelling of hands/feet, muscle/joint pain, hair loss
Warnings: avoid alcohol, may cause sterility, not for pregnant women, not for those with liver disease
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Lung Cancer Drugs
Drugs that may be prescribed for the treatment of lung cancer include:
Tarceva (erlotinib)--an oral medication that treats metastasized non-small cell lung cancer.
Side effects: nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, rash, fatigue
Warnings: not for pregnant women, may cause sterility, rarely causes interstitial lung disease
Toposar (etoposide)--an oral or IV drug that treats small-cell lung cancer, testicular cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Side effects: hair loss, lowered white blood cell count, mouth sores, nausea/vomiting
Warnings: may cause sterility, may cause menopausal symptoms in women, not for pregnant women
Gemzar (gemcitabine)--an IV drug that also treats pancreatic, breast, bladder, ovarian, and cervical cancer.
Side effects: fatigue, nausea/vomiting, hair loss, fever, rash
Warnings: may cause sterility, not for pregnant/breastfeeding women, not for those with kidney or liver disease
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Prostate Cancer Drugs
The following drugs are among those that may be prescribed for men with prostate cancer:
Casodex Oral (bicalutamide)--an oral medication that treats metastasized prostate cancer.
Side effects: sweating, body pain, hair loss, nausea, diarrhea
Warnings: limit alcohol, use caution when driving, may cause complications in those with liver disease or diabetes
Lupron Depot IM (leuprolide)--an injected medication that treats advanced prostate cancer.
Side effects: night sweats, increased urination, fatigue, mood changes
Warnings: long-term use may cause osteoporosis, limit alcohol, use caution when driving
Nilandron Oral (nilutamide)--an anti-androgen drug designed to slow the spread of prostate cancer.
Side effects: loss of libido, sweating, nausea, stomach pain, dizziness
Warnings: may cause vision changes, avoid alcohol, use caution when driving
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Skin Cancer Drugs
Skin cancer can be treated with drugs such as:
Fluoroplex (fluorouracil topical)--a topical medication that also treats basal cell carcinoma.
Side effects: rash, skin irritation, eye irritation, skin peeling
Warnings: not for pregnant/breastfeeding women, avoid sunlight and UV rays, do not combine with other skin products
Proleukin (aldesleukin)--an IV drug that treats metastasized skin cancer and kidney cancer.
Side effects: stomach pain, diarrhea, drowsiness, anxiety
Warnings: not for pregnant/breastfeeding women, not for organ transplant patients, may interfere with other medications
Intron A (interferon alfa-2b)--an injected drug that treats malignant melanoma, lymphoma, and leukemia.
Side effects: muscle pain, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth
Warnings: not for those with liver problems, autoimmune hepatitis, kidney disease, or those who are pregnant/breastfeeding
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Use this list of cancer treating drugs as a guide to common chemotherapy medications and other medications that aid patients with a cancer diagnosis.
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