Anticancer drugs

Drugs that are used to treat many forms of cancer. They are particularly useful in the treatment of lymphomas, leukaemias, breast cancer, cancer of the testis (see testis, cancer of), and prostate cancer and are often used together with surgery or radiotherapy. Most anticancer drugs are cytotoxic (kill or damage rapidly dividing cells), but some act by slowing the growth of hormone-sensitive tumours. Anticancer drugs are often prescribed in combination to maximize their effects. Treatment with cytotoxic drugs is often given by injection in short courses repeated at intervals. Some drugs cause nausea and vomiting and may result in hair loss and increased susceptibility to infection. Others, such as tamoxifen, which is used for breast cancer, are given continuously by mouth for months or years and cause few side effects.


Online Medical Dictionary: Your essential reference to over 5000 medical terms.