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How does Docetaxel work ?

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How does Docetaxel work ?

Post  sherryfu on Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:47 pm

Docetaxel is a chemotherapy drug that is given as a treatment for some types of cancer. It is commonly known as Taxotere®. It is most commonly used to treat breast cancer, prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, but may be used for many other types of cancer.

Cancers form when some cells within the body multiply uncontrollably and abnormally. These cells then spread and destroy nearby tissues. Docetaxel works by stopping the cancer cells from dividing and multiplying. This kills the cancer cells and stops the cancer growing.

Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference between the cancerous cells and the normal cells. The "normal" cells will grow back and be healthy but in the meantime, side effects occur. The "normal" cells most commonly affected by chemotherapy are the blood cells, the cells in the mouth, stomach and bowel, and the hair follicles; resulting in low blood counts, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, and/or hair loss. Different drugs may affect different parts of the body.

And Docetaxel is usually given in hospital every three weeks as a one hour drip into a vein (intravenous infusion). Some people may be prescribed a short course of corticosteroids to be taken by mouth for three days, starting one day before the infusion. This is to reduce the chance of experiencing allergic reactions to the medicine or the severity of any reactions. The aim of the treatment is to progressively shrink the cancer over several cycles of chemotherapy, allowing normal, healthy cells to recover in between.

sherryfu

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