One of the most important organs in the human body for waste processing is the colon. It is the first part of the big intestine, spanning about five to six feet. When the cells in the colon lining form a tumor, it can end up being a cancerous one. The growth usually starts out non-cancerous but if it is not removed or treated, it can develop into a hazardous one and end up as colorectal cancer. If it is one of your concerns, there are many colorectal cancer medications you can explore with the guide of this article.
Colorectal Cancer Treatment Options
Like any other types of cancer, there are different treatment options available. Each one is decided based on the stage of the cancer and the physical and health condition of the patient. Some of the common forms of treatment include:
Surgery involves the full removal of the cancerous tumor while radiation therapy is using x-rays for the destruction of cancer cells.
Chemotherapy, which is a treatment highly associated with cancer of any kind, uses colorectal cancer medications to stop the cancer from dividing and growing. This procedure is usually handled by a medical oncologist, a medical professional who is specially trained in cancer treatment by medication. Through systematic chemotherapy, the drugs are released into the bloodstream through an intravenous tube or via an orally-taken capsule. Depending on several factors, the physician may incorporate different drugs into the treatment schedule. Chemotherapy can also be recommended after surgery to completely remove any cancerous cells left after the procedure.
Colorectal Cancer Medications Available
At present, there are numerous U.S. FDA-approved colorectal cancer medications. They can be used individually or together at different stages of the treatment process. It is also possible to use them together with targeted therapy medications.
1) Capecitabine (Brand name: Xeloda) is an anti-metabolite that hinders the cells from repairing or making new DNA. Cancer cells require new and repaired DNA in order to grow in number.
2) Fluorouracil (Generic drug name: 5-FU, Adrucil) is also an anti-metabolite, which stops the cells from dividing. It specifically attacks during the synthesis of DNA and RNA as it copies the building blocks required for the process of growth.
3) Irinotecan (Trade name: Camptosar) is a plant alkaloid that blocks the function of the topoisomerase enzymes, which is responsible for controlling the unwinding of DNA structure in order to allow the cell to duplicate.
4) Oxaliplatin (Trade name: Eloxatin) is an alkylating agent that attacks the cell when it is in its resting phase by damaging its DNA.
5) Trifluridine/tipiracil (Trade name: TAS-102, Lonsurf) is mostly used in the metastatic stage and is technically also an anti-metabolite. It is brought to the cancerous cells where it stops DNA synthesis, hence stopping the cell from dividing.
There are a number of side effects that come with chemotherapy, which can be inconvenient to a lot of people; some side effects include diarrhea, neuropathy (the damage of cells which causes pain in the affected body part), mouth sores, nausea, and vomiting. These can, however, be prevented by the use of certain drugs as well. A lot of people experience severe hair loss as a result of colorectal cancer medications.
With the constant development of cancer medications, the impacts of side effects have been lessened significantly. There is also a growing success level for cancer treatments with each passing year as researches into the subject matter continues.
Featured Image: depositphotos/garagestockPosted on May 5, 2023