Chemotherapy drugs are combined with radiation therapy for shrinking the cervical cancer tumors and preventing them from invading healthy tissues. Depending upon the stage of the cancer, different types of chemotherapy drugs are available for treating cancer of the cervix.
Medications to Treat Cervical Cancer
Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug usually used in chemoradiation for treating cervical cancer. It belongs to a class of drugs called platinum-containing compounds. Cisplatin is injected intravenously, usually once every three to four weeks or as directed by your oncologist.Nausea, vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, hiccups, loss of taste and dry mouth are common side effects of this chemotherapy drug.
Known as an antimetabolite drug, fluorouracil resembles the nutrients that support growth of cancer cells. However, when taken up by the cancer cells, fluorouracil inhibits growth of the cancer cells, thereby arresting growth and multiplication of cervical cancer tumors. Headache, weakness, thinning of hair, skin dryness, loss of appetite, increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, acne and tingling in the extremities are common symptoms of this chemotherapy drug used for treating cervical cancer.
Paclitaxel belongs to a class of drugs known as mitotic inhibitor. By impairing cell division, paclitaxel prevents multiplication of the cancer cells in the cervix.Common side effects of this chemotherapy drug used for treating cervical cancer include, nausea, vomiting, thinning of hair, tingling in the feet and hands, joint pain and change in the color of nails.
Cyclophosphamide belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It retards or prevents growth of the cancer cells. This cancer drug, available in the form of tablet, is taken orally, once a day. The duration of the treatment depends on the condition of the patient and the body’s response to the drug. Cervical cancer patients on cyclophosdphamide should consume plenty of fluid. Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, hair loss, changes in color of the skin and nails and oral sores are common side effects of the drug.
Mitomycin is an antibiotic that is solely prescribed for cancer treatment. It arrests growth of the cancer cells. Nausea, vomiting, thinning of hair and appetite loss are common side effects of the drug.
Carboplatin belongs to a group of chemotherapy drugs called platinum containing compounds. When injected to the vein of cervical cancer patients, it suppresses growth of the cancer cells. Common side effects of the drug include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, stomach pain, loss of appetite, change in taste, tingling in toes and fingertips, vision changes and thinning of hair.
Ifosfamide, an alkylating agent, slows down growth of the cancer cells.To protect the urinary tract from the harmful effect of ifosfamide, people on this drug should drink plenty of fluids. Darkening of the skin and thinning of the hair are common side effects of ifosfamide.
Epirubicin is classified as an anthracycline drug. It is administered in the vein. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, oral sore, hot flashes, hair loss, eye pain, change in color of skin and nail and loss of appetite are common side effects of the drug.
Bevazizumab belongs to a category of drugs called antiangiogenic agents. It prevents formation of blood vessels to the cancer tumors, thereby arresting growth and multiplication of the malignant tumors. Loss of appetite, loss of taste, dry mouth, weight loss, oral sore, voice change and fainting are common side effects of the drug.
Docetaxel belongs to a class of drugs known as taxanes. Nausea, vomiting, change in taste, diarrhea or constipation, hair loss, fatigue, change in color of nails, sore in throat and mouth are common side effects of the drug.