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Streptozocin is a type of medicine called antineoplastic or also called cytotoxic. This is used for the treatment of islet cell cancer of the pancreas and carcinoid tumor and syndrome. This is a prescription already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Isletcell cancer is a rare condition but highly treatable typeof pancreatic cancer. It begins in the cells of the pancreas that producesinsulin and other hormones. This type of cancer can cause the pancreas toproduce too much insulin or other hormones. When this happens, the person withthis condition may feel weak or dizzy. Islet cell cancer that makes hormonesare called functioning tumors. Other islet cell cancer does not make hormonesand called non-functioning tumors. The most common symptoms of islet cellcancers are abdominal pain and weight loss. Since the cancers develop fromcells that make hormones, about half of islet cell tumors also create hormones.That can cause symptoms related to having too much of that type of hormone inthe body.
Carcinoidtumor is noncancerous or cancerous growths that sometimes produceexcessive amounts of hormone-like substances which results in the carcinoidsyndrome. Carcinoid tumors are usually originated in hormone-producing cellsthat line the small intestine or other parts of the digestive tract. They canas well produce an excess of hormone-like substances.
Carcinoidsyndrome is a group of specific symptoms that occur as a result ofthese hormones. The signs and symptoms of carcinoid syndrome depend on whichchemicals the carcinoid tumor secretes into your bloodstream. The most commonsigns and symptoms include:
- Facial skin lesions – purplish areas of spiderlike veins may appear on your nose and upper lip.
- Skin flushing – the skin on your face and upper chest feels hot and changes color. Flushing episodes may last from a few minutes to a few hours or longer. Flushing may happen for no obvious reason, though sometimes it can be triggered by stress, exercise, or drinking alcohol.
- Diarrhea – frequent watery stools sometimes accompanied by abdominal cramps may occur in people who have carcinoid syndrome.
- Rapid heartbeat – periods of a fast heart rate could be a sign of carcinoid syndrome.
- Difficulty breathing – asthma-like signs and symptoms may occur at the same time you experience skin flushing.
Canceroustumors are categorized by cell division that is no longer controlled as it isin normal tissue. The normal cells stop dividing when they come into contactwith like cells. Cancerous cells lose this ability. Cancer cells no longer havethe normal checks and balances in place that control and limit cell division.The progression of cell division is through the cell cycle whether normal orcancerous cells. The cell cycle goes from the resting phase, through activegrowing phases, and then to mitosis. The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancercells depends on its ability to halt cell division.
Usually,the drug work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itselfin the division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster thecells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill thecells, causing the tumor to shrink. They also induce cell suicide.
Streptozocinis injected into a vein through an IV. This medicine comes as a powder to bemixed with liquid. It may be injected once a day for 5 days in a row every 6weeks or it may be injected once a week. The length of treatment depends on howwell your body responds to treatment with this prescription. Your doctor mayneed to delay your treatment or adjust your dose if you experience certain sideeffects. You need to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatmentwith Streptozocin injection.
This drugcan lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your bloodto clot. The treatment of your cancer may be delayed based on the results ofthese tests. Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in amedical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur. Call your doctor forinstructions if you miss an appointment for your Streptozocin injection.
- Mild nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling, burning, redness, or tenderness at the injection site
Call yourdoctor right away if these side effects occur:
- Little or no urinating
- Rapid weight gain
- Easy bruising or unusual bleeding
- Swollen gums
- Pain when swallowing
- Cold or flu symptoms
- Trouble breathing
- Skin sores
- Pain in your side or lower back
- Kidney damage
- Liver problems
- Before starting treatment with Streptozocin, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies. Do not take aspirin or a product that contains aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without the approval of your doctor while taking Streptozocin.
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or may be pregnant before starting this treatment.
- For both men and women: Do not conceive a child while taking Streptozocin. Barrier methods of contraception such as condoms are recommended. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.
- Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- You will be checked regularly by your health care professional while you are taking Streptozocin. It is to monitor side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic blood work to monitor your complete blood count, as well as the function of other organs, will also be ordered by your doctor.
- Don’t have immunizations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for up to 12 months afterward. The length of time depends on the treatment you are having. Ask your doctor how long you should avoid live vaccinations.
- You should not forget to inform your doctor if you have any allergies or if you are allergic to this drug.