Pancreatic cancer, or pancreatic carcinoma or cancer of the pancreas refers to a malignant, abnormal mass of tissue arising in the pancreas of the body, hampering its normal function. The most common of all the types of pancreatic cancers is the adenocarcinoma which accounts for 95% of the pancreatic cancer cases. In adenocarcinoma, the tumors form on the exocrine cells of the pancreas.
Though the cause of this cancer is not very well known, there are vcertain risk factors that may contribute to the development of this cancer. People who are diabetic patients, chain smokers and those suffering from chronic pancreatitis are more at a risk of developing this cancer of the pancreas. Diarrhea, indigestion, jaundice, pain in the abdomen, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness and dark colored urine are some of the signs that may be observed among those suffering from pancreatic cancer.
There are various treatments available to treat pancreatic cancer and new research has opened up new doors to the treatment of this disease. Below is a list of common drugs and medications used by pancreatic cancer patients.
Common Drugs And Medications For Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Used in chemotherapy treatment methods to cure pancreatic cancer, 5-florouracil works by destroying the cancerous cells present in the tumor and preventing their further multiplication and also destroying the cells that migrated to other organs. Thus, they are quite effective in treating metastatic cancers.
Gemcitabine, just like 5-florouracil, is injected into the bloodstream during cancer treatment. However, sometimes during radiation therapy used in combination with these drugs, 5-florouracil may be needed to be replaced by capecitabine.
Another drug used in chemotherapy to treat cancer, Oxaliplatin has excellent cytotoxic capabilities. It restricts the DNA synthesis in cancer cells, thus preventing them from multiplying. Usually, this drug is used along with fluorouracil and leucovorin.
This drug resembles somatostatin in composition and thus effects many physiological activities such as inhibition of secretion of hormones from the anterior pituitary, causes a reduction in the secretion of enzymes from the stomach and the pancreas and produces analgesic effects. It is due to these influences that this drug is now being used to treat chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
A purple fluid administered intravenously, mitomycin may be given periodically over a course of time to show its effectiveness in treating pancreatic cancer. Use of mitomycin may lead to possible side effects including the risk of developing various infections as the number of white blood cells decrease when the body is administered with repeated doses of mitomycin.
A drug commonly used to treat ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, gullet cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer and testicular cancer, cisplatin is administered as an intravenous drip. It is generally used as a combination therapy alongside
This drug is a chemotherapy drug used to treat different cancers including cancer of the ovary, of the rectum, breast and pancreas. The right dose of this drug is important as over consumption is linked to several side effects including nausea, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation.
All the above drugs are the most commonly used ones to treat a case of pancreatic cancer. However, proper dosage is important.