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What is a cancer-fighting drug?

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replied September 26th, 2010
Birth Control Answer A16316
Welcome to ehealthforum.
"Cancer" is the term given to a large group of diseases that vary in type and location but have one thing in common: abnormal cells growing out of control. It starts when one normal cell becomes cancerous which happens when something disrupts the cell DNA, altering the instructional code that monitors the cell's life cycle. This cause for the uncontrollable multiplication of abnormal cells, as well as how fast it happens, differs from person to person. Many people overcome the disease, and many living with the disease live fulfilled lives for many years.
Most anti-cancer drugs or cancer fighting drugs act by inhibiting the DNA synthesis or some other process in the cell growth cycle. Since anti-cancer drugs generally affect all rapidly dividing cells, other non-cancerous cells will also be affected. The way in which the other cells are affected determines the side-effects of the individual drugs. Other cells affected include blood cells, which fight infection, help the blood to clot, and carry oxygen to all parts of the body. When blood cells are affected, patients are more likely to get infections, may bruise or bleed easily, and may feel unusually weak and very tired. Rapidly dividing cells in hair roots, cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract. This results in the most common side effects of chemotherapy—myelosuppression (decreased production of blood cells), mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract) and alopecia (hair loss).
Hope this helps. For more detailed discussion on types of drugs used, visit an Oncologist.
Take care.

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