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Chemotherapy for vaginal cancer
Chemotherapy is sometimes used to treat vaginal cancer.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to treat cancer. It is usually a systemic therapy that circulates throughout the body and destroys cancer cells, including those that may have broken away from the primary tumour.
Chemotherapy may be used:
- together with radiation therapy to make the radiation more effective
- to relieve pain or to control the symptoms of advanced vaginal cancer (palliative chemotherapy)
Drugs, doses and schedules vary from person to person.
The most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat vaginal cancer are:
- 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil)
- cisplatin (Platinol AQ)
- mitomycin (Mutamycin)
- cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Procytox)
- bleomycin (Blenoxane)
- paclitaxel (Taxol)
- docetaxel (Taxotere)
For more detailed information on specific drugs, go to sources of drug information.
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A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.