12th September 2021 by Jack Allan
We are taking a look at the different types of chemotherapy drugs that can be used to treat secondary breast cancer and this week it’s Vinorelbine.
Vinorelbine is a chemotherapy drug used to treat a number of types of cancer including breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. It is also commonly known under the brand name Navelbine.
Vinorelbine is a type of drug called a vinca alkaloid. It kills cancer cells by interfering with cell division and stopping growth.
Vinorelbine can be given as tablets or intravenously into a vein in your hand or arm. It is sometimes used in combination with other cancer medications.
A common side effect is feeling or being sick. Anti-sickness drugs will be prescribed to help prevent or control sickness during treatment. Other side effects include diarrhoea or constipation, anaemia, which is caused by a low number of red blood cells, sore mouth and throat, loss of reflexes and weakness, bruising and bleeding and a loss of appetite and losing weight.
There is also an increased risk of infection due to a drop in white blood cells and it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you suspect an infection. Irritation may occur where the intravenous drip is inserted and you may also suffer hair loss but it will usually grow back once treatment is finished.
If your side effects are severe or getting worse you should always speak to your medical team.
Next week we’ll be speaking to a patient about her experience of taking Vinorelbine.