Occupational Exposure And Safe Handling
In the 1970s, antineoplastic drugs were identified as hazardous, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has since then introduced the concept of hazardous drugs after publishing a recommendation in 1983 regarding handling hazardous drugs. The adaptation of federal regulations came when the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration first released its guidelines in 1986 and then updated them in 1996, 1999, and, most recently, 2006.
Known And Probable Human Carcinogens
In general, the American Cancer Society does not determine if something causes cancer .Instead, we rely on the determinations of other respected agencies, such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the US National Toxicology Program .
The lists below are from IARC and NTP. More information on each of these known and probable human carcinogens can be found on their websites.
To learn more about these agencies and how they study and classify cancer causes, see Determining if Something Is a Carcinogen.
List Of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies
This is a list of therapeutic, diagnostic and preventive monoclonal antibodies, antibodies that are clones of a single parent cell. When used as drugs, the International Nonproprietary Names end in -mab. The remaining syllables of the INNs, as well as the column , are explained in Nomenclature of monoclonal antibodies.
The abbreviations in the column Type are as follows:
- mab: whole monoclonal antibody
- Fab: fragment, antigen-binding
- F2: fragment, antigen-binding, including hinge region
- Fab’: fragment, antigen-binding, including hinge region
This list of over 500 monoclonal antibodies includes approved and investigational drugs as well as drugs that have been withdrawn from market consequently, the column Use does not necessarily indicate clinical usage. See the list of FDA-approved therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in the monoclonal antibody therapy page.
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When To Contact Your Team
Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will go through the possible side effects. They will monitor you closely during treatment and check how you are at your appointments. Contact your advice line as soon as possible if:
- you have severe side effects
- your side effects arent getting any better
- your side effects are getting worse
Early treatment can help manage side effects better.
We haven’t listed all the side effects here. Remember it is very unlikely that you will have all of these side effects, but you might have some of them at the same time.
Feeling Or Being Sick
Feeling or being sick is usually well controlled with anti sickness medicines. Avoiding fatty or fried foods, eating small meals and snacks, drinking plenty of water, and relaxation techniques can all help.
It is important to take anti sickness medicines as prescribed even if you dont feel sick. It is easier to prevent sickness rather than treating it once it has started.
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Cytotoxics And Targeted Therapies
Targeted therapies are a relatively new class of cancer drugs that can overcome many of the issues seen with the use of cytotoxics. They are divided into two groups: small molecule and antibodies. The massive toxicity seen with the use of cytotoxics is due to the lack of cell specificity of the drugs. They will kill any rapidly dividing cell, tumor or normal. Targeted therapies are designed to affect cellular proteins or processes that are utilised by the cancer cells. This allows a high dose to cancer tissues with a relatively low dose to other tissues. Although the side effects are often less severe than that seen of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics, life-threatening effects can occur. Initially, the targeted therapeutics were supposed to be solely selective for one protein. Now it is clear that there is often a range of protein targets that the drug can bind. An example target for targeted therapy is the BCR-ABL1 protein produced from the Philadelphia chromosome, a genetic lesion found commonly in chronic myelogenous leukemia and in some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This fusion protein has enzyme activity that can be inhibited by imatinib, a small molecule drug.
Urine And Kidney Problems
You may have an infection in your wee. Symptoms include pain when having a wee, and going more often, and blood in your wee. You may also feel unwell or have a fever. Let your healthcare team know if you have any of these symptoms.
To help prevent kidney damage, it is important to drink plenty of water. You might also have fluids into your vein before, during and after treatment. You have blood tests before your treatments to check how well your kidneys are working.
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How Chemotherapy Is Used
Doctors use chemotherapy in several ways to treat to treat all stages of breast cancer. Whether or not a doctor recommends chemotherapy for you depends on the breast cancer’s characteristics, your health history, and your personal preferences.
Doctors call chemotherapy given after surgery adjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is given after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may have been left behind or may have travelled to other places in the body. These single cells or groups of two or three cells are very small and don’t appear on imaging tests. Chemotherapy after surgery reduces the risk of the cancer coming back, called recurrence by doctors.
Doctors dont recommend chemotherapy after surgery for everyone diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, except in the following situations:
If there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes near the affected breast, doctors may recommend chemotherapy.
If the cancer has characteristics that make it more aggressive, such as being hormone receptor-negative or HER2-positive, doctors usually recommend chemotherapy.
If youre a pre-menopausal woman, your doctor is more likely to recommend chemotherapy because breast cancer in pre-menopausal women tends to be more aggressive.
Doctors call chemotherapy given before surgery neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is given before surgery to shrink large cancers, which may:
breast cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes
Pain In Different Parts Of Your Body
Its common to feel pain in different parts of your body such as your joints, muscles, and limbs.
You might also get pain in other areas of the body for example pain in your ear, mouth, throat, face and bones but this is not as common.
Tell a member of the team treating you if you have any pain. They can check the cause and give you medicine to help.
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Chemical: Methotrexate / Brand: Maxtrex
How it works: Maxtrex is a type of antimetabolite, which gets absorbed into cancer cells because it can mimic other components of the cell. Once its in, it prevents the cell from dividing and causes cell death. It is often used in combination with other chemotherapies.
Types of breast cancer treated: -Early stage: cancer hasnt spread-Metastatic: cancer has spread to other organs
Pill or IV:Taken intravenously.
Most common side effects:Diarrhea nausea and vomiting sore mouth joint pain skin changes at infusion site swelling in feet & legs loss of appetite hair loss irregular menstruation.
Common combinations using Maxtrex:
What Are Cancer Vaccines
A cancer vaccine can also help your body fight disease. A vaccine exposes your immune system to a foreign protein, called an antigen. This triggers the immune system to recognize and destroy that antigen or related substances. There are 2 types of cancer vaccine: prevention vaccines and treatment vaccines.
One example of a cancer prevention vaccine is Gardasil, the vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus , a virus that can cause specific types of cancer. An example of a treatment vaccine includes spuleucel-T , which treats advanced prostate cancer that does not respond to hormone therapy. T-VEC is also considered a cancer treatment vaccine. Side effects for both of these cancer vaccines are flu-like symptoms.
In general, immunotherapy is an important approach as cancer researchers continue to look for new cancer treatments. The examples above do not include every type of immunotherapy treatment. Researchers are studying many new drugs. You can learn more about immunotherapy in each cancer-specific section on Cancer.Net. Look at the “Types of Treatment” and “Latest Research” pages for specific information about immunotherapy for that type of cancer. You can also learn about the latest immunotherapy research on the Cancer.Net Blog.
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Using Single Or Multiple Anti
When your cancer treatment team designs a treatment plan for you, they may recommend a single chemotherapy drug or have you take more than one drug at the same time. Using more than one drug to treat cancer is called combination chemotherapy.
Your treatment team will keep in mind the way each drug works and its side effects to make sure the drugs will work well together. The treatment team designs your treatment plan by taking into account the type of cancer, its stage and multiple other factors.
Common Chemo Drugs And What They Do
By C. Dixon
The prospect of undergoing chemotherapy for cancer can be terrifying especially when the drugs themselves have daunting, hard-to-pronounce names, and the same drug has a brand name and a chemical name. There are more than 100 different types of chemo drugs and some are prescribed jointly while others are only given alone. Why are there so many kinds, and how do your doctors know which one is right for you and your specific type of cancer?
Were here to help clear that up. Chemotherapy works by targeting cells at specific points in the cell cycle. Since cancer cells form more quickly than normal cells, the cancerous ones will be more readily destroyed by chemo than normal cells, though some normal cells will be affected .
Usually, at least two or three chemo drugs are used in combination with each other when treating localized cancer, while only one is commonly used at a time for advanced stages. There is no drug or combination thats considered the best your doctors will discuss the most promising treatment plan for you based on your stage, potential side effects, how the drugs will interact with each other, and more.
Well list several of the most common types of chemo, and explain their effect on cancer cells and your body. Common side effects for any type of chemotherapy include low blood count and an increased risk of blood clots. In addition, women are advised not to get pregnant.
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Bruising Bleeding Gums And Nosebleeds
This is due to a drop in the number of platelets in your blood. These blood cells help the blood to clot when we cut ourselves. You may have nosebleeds or bleeding gums after brushing your teeth. Or you may have lots of tiny red spots or bruises on your arms or legs .
Less commonly you may have heavy bleeding.
Whats The Difference Between Immunotherapy And Chemotherapy
Both immunotherapy and chemotherapy are commonly used cancer treatments that use drugs to stop or slow the growth of cancerous cells. However, while chemotherapy drugs are used to attack rapidly producing cells throughout the body, immunotherapy triggers the immune systems ability to identify and attack cancer cells.
The side effects can be very different between chemotherapy and immunotherapy, too. Because chemotherapy cant differentiate between the cells its targeting, it affects both fast-growing cancerous and fast-growing normal cells, like those responsible for hair and skin growth and those lining the digestive tract and forming bone marrow. That why side effects like hair loss, nausea and vomiting, and skin and nail changes are more common and sometimes more severe with chemotherapy.
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Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Sometimes, if cancer spreads to the spinal fluid, which surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord, chemo may be given directly into in this area .
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Menstrual Changes And Fertility Issues
For younger women, changes in menstrual periods are a common side effect of chemo. Premature menopause and infertility may occur and could be permanent. If this happens, there is an increased risk of heart disease, bone loss, and osteoporosis. There are medicines that can treat or help prevent bone loss.
Even if your periods stop while you are on chemo, you may still be able to get pregnant. Getting pregnant while on chemo could lead to birth defects and interfere with treatment. If you have not gone through menopause before treatment and are sexually active, its important to discuss using birth control with your doctor. It is not a good idea for women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to take hormonal birth control , so its important to talk with both your oncologist and your gynecologist about what options would be best for you. When women have finished treatment , they can safely go on to have children, but it’s not safe to get pregnant while being treated.
If you think you might want to have children after being treated for breast cancer, talk with your doctor soon after being diagnosed and before you start treatment. For some women, adding medicines, like monthly injections with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analog, along with chemo, can help them have a successful pregnancy after cancer treatment. To learn more, see Female Fertility and Cancer.
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Chemical: Vinorelbine / Brand: Navelbine
How it works: Navelbine is a type of vinca alkaloid, which stops cell reproduction and destroys cancer cells altogether by interfering with DNA. Its derived from the periwinkle plant, and is often used alone.
Types of breast cancer treated:-Locally advanced: cancer has spread to lymph nodes and other tissues in the chest or neck-Metastatic: cancer has spread to other organs
Pill or IV:Taken orally or intravenously.
Most common side effects:Nausea and vomiting sore mouth fatigue bowel issues numbness and tingling in hands and feet skin changes at infusion site liver changes.
Chemical: Doxorubicin / Brand: Adriamycin Chemical: Epirubicin / Brand: Ellence Chemical: Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin / Brand: Doxil
How it works:Anthracyclines damage the DNA of cancer cells, making them unable to divide and causing cell death. They can be either neoadjuvant or adjuvant and are typically used in combination with other chemo types, especially Cytoxan . Adriamycin is called the red devil because of its bright red color.
Use of anthracyclines has decreased over the years. High usage can result in cardiac damage and they have severe side effects. Now anthracyclines are paired with other drugs and given at a much lower dose to reduce toxicity.
The combination of Herceptin with anthracyclines can cause severe cardiac dysfunction and is not recommended.
Pill or IV:Taken intravenously.
Common combinations using anthracyclines:
How Is Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer Given
Chemo drugs for breast cancer are typically given into a vein , either as an injection over a few minutes or as an infusion over a longer period of time. This can be done in a doctors office, infusion center, or in a hospital setting.
Often, a slightly larger and sturdier IV is required in the vein system to administer chemo. These are known as central venous catheters , central venous access devices , or central lines. They are used to put medicines, blood products, nutrients, or fluids right into your blood. They can also be used to take out blood for testing.
There are many different kinds of CVCs. The most common types are the port and the PICC line. For breast cancer patients, the central line is typically placed on the side opposite of the breast cancer. If a woman has breast cancer in both breasts, the central line will most likely be placed on the side that had fewer lymph nodes removed or involved with cancer.
Chemo is given in cycles, followed by a rest period to give you time to recover from the effects of the drugs. Chemo cycles are most often 2 or 3 weeks long. The schedule varies depending on the drugs used. For example, with some drugs, chemo is given only on the first day of the cycle. With others, it is given one day a week for a few weeks or every other week. Then, at the end of the cycle, the chemo schedule repeats to start the next cycle.
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How Often Do You Have Paclitaxel And Carboplatin
You usually have paclitaxel over 3 hours and carboplatin between 30 minutes and 1 hour. The whole treatment can take up to 4 hours.
You have paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy as cycles of treatment. This means that you have the drug and then a rest to allow your body to recover.
Each cycle usually lasts 3 weeks . Depending on your cancer type you might have up to 8 cycles which can take up to about 6 months.
Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will explain your treatment plan to you and what to expect.
A common way of having this treatment is as follows:
- You have paclitaxel as a drip into your bloodstream over 3 hours . You have carboplatin as a drip into your bloodstream over 30 to 60 minutes.
You then start the next cycle of treatment.