Cancer treatment is a very long and complicated process. A panacea for treating cancer does not exist yet, but the combination of various drugs in oncology allows to achieve inhibition of tumor growth, removal of pain syndrome and general improvement of the patient’s condition.
The role of drugs in the treatment of cancer
Modern cancer drugs solve several problems, therefore they are often prescribed in a complex. Some drugs destroy the affected cells, others stop their growth and prevent the emergence of new cancer cells. In the late stages, doctors prescribe painkillers and preparations that do not affect the growth of the tumor but improve the overall condition of the person, removing unpleasant symptoms.
Anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs
Chemotherapy is a high-tech and effective way to treat cancer but it has certain drawbacks. Drugs for chemotherapy suppress the growth of cancer cells or destroy them, but many of them also affect healthy cells. Because of this, chemotherapy is difficult to tolerate, and patients need rehabilitation after each course. Side effects of medications for chemotherapy are vomiting and nausea, hair loss, weight loss, impaired immunity, a constant sense of fatigue, a violation of blood coagulability.
Specialists distinguish between cytostatic and cytotoxic chemotherapy. They differ in the mechanism of action on the cells. Cytotoxic drugs slow the reproduction of tumor cells. Cytotoxic meds kill the affected cells, resulting in necrosis of the tumor.
Chemotherapy drugs are divided into the following groups:
- Alkylating agents. These cancer drugs destroy the proteins responsible for the formation of DNA of cancer cells. The most common drugs in this group are agents based on the active substance cyclophosphamide.
- Preparations of platinum. This noble metal is toxic. Platinum preparations have the same effect as alkylating agents, namely, they destroy the DNA of cancer cells. Cytotoxic agents of the alkylating type of action are widely used to treat cancer.
- Antimetabolites. They affect the genetic apparatus of the cell, killing it during division. The most known antimetabolites are preparations based on gemcitabine.
- Anthracyclines. These drugs form free radicals that damage the DNA of diseased cells. The most famous representatives of the anthracycline group are the agents with the active ingredient daunorubicin.
- Taxanes disrupt the process of dividing cancer cells. Preparations based on paclitaxel are the most common in this group.
- Vincalcloids destroy the cytoskeleton of cancer cells, which leads to their death. Vincalcloids belong to mild chemotherapy medications since cancer cells are much more sensitive to the effects of these drugs than healthy ones. This group includes drugs with active substances vinblastine and vincristine.
Hormone cancer medications
In the treatment of many types of tumors, the use of hormonal drugs gives good results. They are most effective in the treatment of hormone-dependent tumors – cancer of the breast, uterus, prostate, as well as tumors of the pancreas, kidneys, melanomas. Estrogen-containing drugs are prescribed to suppress androgens (for example, in prostate cancer), and androgen-containing, on the contrary, suppress the release of estrogens. The drugs of the latter group are prescribed for such types of oncology as breast cancer, etc. Despite the effectiveness, hormonal medications have many drawbacks – they can weaken the action of chemotherapeutic drugs, with long-term treatment, many patients develop resistance to them.
Enzymes include active protein compounds that are capable of destroying the amino acids necessary for the growth of tumor cells. For the treatment of tumors, doctors prescribe arginase, asparaginase, and some other enzymes. The effectiveness of such therapy is questionable since resistance is developed very quickly: the human immune system begins to produce antibodies to them. However, studies show that enzyme therapy significantly mitigates the effects of chemotherapy.
Anesthetics for oncology
In the treatment of cancer, much attention is paid not only to the effect on the tumor but also to improving the patient’s quality of life, in particular, the fight against pain. Most often the pain is caused by the growth of the tumor, but sometimes the pain syndrome is a side effect of some cancer drugs.
The choice of pain medication depends on the stage of the disease. Today, there are the following groups of painkillers used in oncology:
- Adjuvant drugs. These preparations are actually not anesthetics but they reduce the side effects of strong opioids and increase their analgesic effect (eg, clonidine).
- Non-arthroscopic analgesics. This is the first step in removing the pain syndrome in cancer diseases. These are paracetamol-based drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen).
- Weak opiates. These preparations include codeine, tramadol, and some others. These are potent drugs, which nevertheless are well tolerated. They give a particularly noticeable effect in combination with non-narcotic analgesics.
- Strong opiates. In cases where the pain becomes too strong and other meds do not help, the doctor prescribes strong opiates based on morphine, fentanyl, etc. They act directly on the central nervous system, suppressing nerve impulses.
New cancer drugs
Oncological diseases are very widespread, the number of cancer patients is increasing every year, and doctors note that cancer becomes “younger” – it is increasingly being diagnosed in people under 40. All this makes research into the development of new cancer drugs a priority for the international pharmaceutical community. Studies are conducted continuously, and there are already certain results. So, recently targeted therapies for cancer have been developed. The targeted drugs influence only the affected cells, not healthy ones. Target drugs block the access of oxygen to cancer cells, and the latter dies. This cancer medication is considered much safer than traditional chemotherapeutic agents, it gives good results even in severe patients in an extremely weakened state.
Where and how to buy cancer medications?
During the search for the right cancer drugs, people face two problems. First, such products, as a rule, are quite expensive. Besides, it can be difficult to find them. Of course, in theory, if you know which preparation you need, you can order any medicine in the pharmacy. But in practice this scheme works badly – sometimes people have to search for a very long time for the necessary cancer drug, and in the end, it turns out that it is inaccessible and it is necessary to buy its analog, which may not be so effective. And your precious time goes in vain! My Canadian Pharmacy team has a good assortment of rare drugs for the treatment of cancer. In their catalog, you can find the most popular medicines needed by oncology patients, for example, drugs for chemotherapy (Cytoxan, Etoposide, Capecitabine) and much more. You can easily find the right medicine on the website, using a convenient search bar or drug categories. The pharmacy delivers products all over the world. It is also important that this store tries to maintain low prices for all medicines, even those that are very difficult to find.