Breast cancer is prevalent amongst American women, with 1 in 8 women getting diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. While getting diagnosed with breast cancer can be a very scary experience, there are many different effective treatments and medications that can eradicate breast cancer cells. Understanding how the different types of medications work can really help you make a more informed decision regarding what treatment might be best for you. This article will look at 3 of the most common types of medications prescribed for treating breast cancer and how they work.
Regulate Hormone Levels with Nonsteroidal Aromatase Inhibitors
Hormonal levels within the body can either create an environment that is friendly or unfriendly to cancerous cells. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the first things that your oncologist will want to do is determine the hormonal levels within your body. It's a problem if your body is producing high levels of estrogen, as high levels of estrogen will actually help the cancer grow and spread. Estrogen levels can be controlled by hormone therapy or by taking different types of medications.
Nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors are particularly effective in decreasing the amount of estrogen that the body makes. This will help prevent the cancer from growing and spreading. This type of medication is normally administered orally in the form of a capsule or a tablet.
Prevent Cancerous Cell Growth Using Taxane Drugs
If your breast cancer is still at its early stages, you might be able to get away with using taxane drugs to stop the cancerous cells from growing. Taxane drugs basically stop the cancerous cells from replicating by binding to the cells and preventing them from being able to divide. While this type of medication will not eradicate the cancerous cells, it will stop it from growing. This will help increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Taxane drugs are used to target a lot of different types of cancers. This type of drug is usually administered intravenously. As a result, you won't usually be able to take the drug by yourself at home. You'll have to go into the clinic for the treatment.
Although taxane drugs can be effective in treating breast cancer, it's important to keep in mind that you can easily develop a resistance to this drug. As a result, the oncologist will want to closely monitor how the drugs are affecting your body. When the drugs become less effective, they should switch you over to something else as you continue your treatment.
Treat Later Stages with Alkylating Agents of Nitrogen Mustard Family
When dealing with later stages of breast cancer, you're going to be facing more discomfort and pain. In these situations, the medications you take should be able to offer some type of relief from the chemotherapy treatments while they prevent growth of cancerous cells. One of the most highly recommended type of medication in these situations will be alkylating agents of the nitrogen mustard family. These types of medications are injected intravenously during the chemotherapy sessions.
These types of medications work by targeting the DNA of the cancerous cells. They prevent the cancerous cells from not only replicating, but also from staying alive. These medications will help shrink the cancerous tumors, as they play an active role in eradicating cancerous cells.
Depending on what may be contributing to the growth of cancerous cells in the breast and the severity of the cancer, different types of medications may be recommended. Understanding what the medications do, how they work and how they are administered can help you make an informed decision on the type of treatment that may work best for you. For more information, visit a clinic like Sturdy Memorial Hospital.