Stomach Cancer Treatment Drugs
Stomach cancer is one of the most common cancers in Europe; in particular, the pylorus and the cardia represent the two anatomical-target areas from which gastric neoplasia most often originates. The subjects most at risk of contracting stomach cancer are the elderly male.
The causal factors underlying stomach cancer are still being studied today; however, some predisposing elements have been identified, as well as the risk factors that seem to favor the disease: repeated infections from Helicobacter pylori, gastritis possibly associated with pernicious anemia, genetic predisposition and gastric ulcer.
Stomach cancer progresses rather slowly, but symptoms, although mild and vague in the initial stage, can alert the patient that something is wrong; in general, cancer sends signals such as difficulty in taking large quantities of food and lack of interest in smoking. In addition to these rather peculiar signs, cancer is often accompanied by fatigue, bitter mouth, difficulty digesting, weight loss, dysphagia vomiting, belching, heartburn, blood in the stool or dark, tarry stools.
Diet and Nutrition
The information on Stomach Cancer - Stomach Cancer Treatment Drugs is not intended to replace the direct relationship between health professional and patient. Always consult your doctor and / or specialist before taking Stomach Cancer - Stomach Cancer Treatment Drugs.
To date, surgery represents the most effective therapeutic option for treating stomach cancer; however, it must be remembered that surgical eradication of the neoplastic area is possible only when the tumor is discovered in an early stage, which is not always the case. simple, due to a rather vague and nonspecific onset symptomatology, which tends to prolong the diagnostic assessment.
Among the most used surgical interventions, the following are mentioned:
- Partial gastrectomy: removal of a portion of the stomach corresponding to that affected by the neoplasm. Side effects: loss of appetite, perception of burning in the retrosternal region
- Total gastrectomy: total removal of the entire organ
- Enlarged gastrectomy: reserved for advanced stomach cancers. It involves the removal of the stomach and sections of other organs affected by the neoplasm, such as spleen, lymph nodes, liver, pancreas, etc.
Often, surgery is associated with radiotherapy, to be performed during surgery to increase the likelihood of having eliminated all cancer cells, but unfortunately, stomach cancer is often resistant to radiation therapy as well.
The use of chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of stomach cancer has proved to be very controversial: it seems, in fact, that the administration of these drugs is only useful for palliative purposes. It is however conceivable that a neoadjuvant therapy - that is, carried out before surgery - may be useful to reduce tumor extension, increasing the chances of success. In the event of metastatic stomach cancer, neoadjuvant therapy does not seem to bring about any benefit in the sick patient, if not the slightest decrease in prodrome.
The following are the classes of anticancer drugs most used in the therapy against stomach cancer, and some examples of pharmacological specialties; it is up to the doctor to choose the most suitable active ingredient and dosage for the patient, based on the severity of the disease, the state of health of the patient and his response to treatment:
- 5-fluorouracil (eg. Fluorouracil): for the treatment of stomach cancer, it is recommended to start drug therapy with 12 mg / kg of fluorouracil, intravenously, once a day for 4 consecutive days. Do not exceed 800 mg / kg. In case of non-toxicity, prolong the therapy and take 6 mg / kg of drug on day 6-8-10-12, starting from the first day of treatment. The dose must be changed in case of severe malnutrition of the patient. Consult your doctor.
- Cisplatin (eg. Cisplatin ACC, Platamine, Pronto Platamine) and Oxaliplatin (eg. Oxaliplatin ACC, Eloxatin) although used as drugs of choice for the treatment of lung and colon cancer, cisplatin and "Oxaliplatin are also sometimes used in gastric cancer therapy. Consult your doctor.
- Docetaxel (eg. Docetaxel Teva Pharma, Docetaxel Teva, Docetaxel Winthrop, Taxotere): start taking the drug at a dosage of 75 mg per square meter of body surface area (infusion duration: 1 hour), followed by 75 mg / m2 of cisplatin ( 1-3 hours of infusion). Finish with 750 mg / m2 of fluorouracil per day as a 24 hour intravenous infusion. Respect this therapeutic schedule for 5 consecutive days, starting at the end of the cisplatin infusion. Repeat the treatment every 3 weeks. Generally, before taking these drugs, patients are treated with antiemetics to prevent vomiting and with oral corticosteroids (eg . dexamethasone - eg Decadron, Desameta, Etacortilen, soldesam - at a dosage of 16 mg per day, for three days, before taking Docetaxel), in order to reduce fluid retention induced by chemotherapy.
- Epirubicin (eg. Epirubicin AHCL, Farmorubicin): used mostly in therapy for the treatment of breast cancer, this drug is used only secondarily for stomach cancer. Consult your doctor.
- Capecitabine (eg. Xeloda): the drug, available in tablets from 150 to 500 mg, is indicated for gastric, colon and breast cancer. For the treatment of stomach cancer, the drug is taken at a dosage of 650-1250 mg per square meter of body surface; the tablets should be taken within 30 minutes of the end of the meal.
- Doxorubicin (eg Adriblastina, Caelyx, Doxorubicina ACC, Myocet): the drug is often used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs; generally it is administered at a dosage of 40-60 mg / m2 i.v. every 21-28 days Alternatively, take 60-75 mg / m2 i.v. once a day every 3 weeks.
- Mitomycin (eg Mitomycin C): this drug is used in therapy for the treatment of stomach cancer as a palliative or when other chemotherapy has failed. Take 20mg / m2 intravenously, as a single dose, via intravenous catheter. Stomach cancer should be treated with this active ingredient for 6-8 weeks.
Diet and stomach cancer
In the case of stomach cancer, the patient should try to limit some foods to the benefit of others:
- Limit the use of salt
- Avoid foods rich in carbohydrates
- Don't eat sausages
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber
- If the diet is deficient, supplement it with vitamins A and C, useful for preventing the synthesis of nitrosamines (compounds ideally responsible for genetic mutations, implicated in the formation of tumors such as that of the stomach).
Other articles on "Stomach Cancer - Drugs to Treat Stomach Cancer"
- Gastric Lymphomas
- Stomach Cancer
- Gastric Cancer: Types, Diffusion, Symptoms
- Stomach Cancer: Diagnosis
- Stomach Cancer: Treatment
- Stomach Cancer Diet