Antitumor Antibiotics for Chemotherapy
How It Works
These chemotherapy medicines are called antitumor antibiotics. These antibiotics are not like the antibiotics used to treat infections. Instead, these antitumor antibiotics interfere with the DNA inside cells. This slows or stops cancer cells from growing and keeps them from multiplying.
Why It Is Used
Mitomycin is used to prevent bladder cancer from coming back (recurring). It is given through a urinary catheter directly into the bladder.
How Well It Works
These medicines work well in treating cancer. But the type and extent of the cancer affects how well this medicine slows or stops the growth of those cancer cells.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Bleomycin may cause scarring of the tissue in your lungs (pulmonary fibrosis). This is more likely to happen in elderly people or in people who get a high total dose.
These medicines may cause bone marrow problems. They may also cause other serious side effects, such as heart, liver, or kidney problems. If used over a long period of time, these medicines may weaken the heart muscle.
Common side effects of this medicine include:
Other common side effects may include skin problems, such as:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
You may not be able to get pregnant or father a child after taking these medicines. Talk to your doctor about this before you start treatment.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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