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Updated April 29, 2019
The most recent data from the American Cancer Society estimated over 1.6 million new cancer diagnoses in 2015 alone—with 35,620 new cases resting in Indiana. Sadly, about 1,620 people are expected to die across the country every day from cancer; however, treatment options do exist, and they’ve been successful in saving thousands of lives.
One of the more common treatment options for cancer is chemotherapy, but it’s a pretty broad term: What does chemotherapy entail? What are the types and purposes of different chemotherapy drugs?
Chemotherapy is the act of treating diseases—especially the treatment of cancer—by way of various chemical substances (i.e. drugs and medications).
Depending on the type of drug and the treatment options pursued, chemotherapy drugs can work to accomplish the following:
Because of the large variety of chemotherapy drugs—as well the as types of cancers and locations within the body that it can grow—chemotherapy drugs can be administered in many different ways: orally, injected into the arteries, veins, under the skin, into the fluid around the spinal cord or brain, or into the muscles. For long-term treatment, surgically-implanted catheters may also be inserted into the body.
Treatment is designed individually for each patient based on the type of cancer, where it has spread, and the patient’s individual medical history. Chemotherapy drugs are grouped by how they work, their chemical structure, and how they relate with other drugs.
Common chemotherapy drugs and their processes are as follows. This list is by no means representative of all chemotherapy drugs. For a complete list, speak with a medical professional.
Alkylating drugs damage the cell’s DNA, which keeps it from reproducing. Examples of alkylating drugs include the following:
Antimetabolites interfere with DNA and RNA growth in cells by inserting themselves into the process to replace the normal “building blocks” of cell production. Some examples include the following:
Anti-tumor antibiotics prevent the cell cycle from moving forward by changing the DNA inside of the cancer cells. Some anti-tumor antibodies include the following:
Topoisomerase inhibitors keep the enzyme known as topoisomerase from working, preventing the separation of DNA strands used to copy cells. Examples include the following:
Mitotic Inhibitors prevent the manufacture of protein inside the cells, putting a stop to the reproduction process. Types of mitotic inhibitor medications may include the following:
Side effects are expected with chemotherapy treatments: fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, pain, and mouth and throat sores, to name a few. What cancer survivors don’t expect, however, is to suffer those side effects after treatment—especially permanently. Unfortunately, breast cancer survivors who had chemotherapy treatment with the drug Taxotere (Docetaxel) have suffered permanent hair loss or baldness far after they stopped treatment.
Many survivors have filed drug injury lawsuits against Taxotere’s manufacturer, Sanofi, for failure to warn patients and healthcare providers of its long term or permanent risks.
After fighting a long and brutal battle with cancer, survivors shouldn’t have to suffer anymore—plain and simple.
If you or a loved one took Taxotere during breast cancer treatment and have suffered permanent hair loss, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Drug Injury Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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