The drugs used for nasal and sinus cancer | Cancer Research UK
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The drugs used for nasal and sinus cancer

Men and women discussing nasal and sinus cancer

This page is about the chemotherapy drugs used to treat nasal and paranasal sinus cancer, and how you might have them. You can find the following information

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

The drugs used for nasal and sinus cancer

It is most common to have 2 or more chemotherapy drugs together to treat cancer. You may hear this called combination chemotherapy. Many types of head and neck cancers can be treated with these common chemotherapy drugs

  • Cisplatin
  • 5 fluorouracil (5-FU)

Chemotherapy drugs doctors may use less often include carboplatin, docetaxel (Taxotere), paclitaxel (Taxol) and gemcitabine (Gemzar).

You have these drugs through a drip into your arm, usually once every 3 or 4 weeks. Each 3 or 4 week period is known as one cycle of treatment. You will probably have 3 or 4 cycles to begin with. If your treatment is working and you are not having too many side effects you will probably go on to have up to 6 cycles. So the complete chemotherapy course can take 6 months or more. Your own doctor will decide the exact number of treatments you have.

If you are having chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time (known as chemoradiation treatment), you are most likely to have the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the treating nasal cancer section.

 

 

The drugs you might have

It is most common to have 2 or more chemotherapy drugs together to treat cancer. You may hear this called combination chemotherapy. Using 2 or more drugs together is often more effective than using one drug. Many types of head and neck cancers can be treated with these common chemotherapy drugs

Other chemotherapy drugs doctors may use include

The links above will take you to information about the specific side effects of each drug.

 

Chemotherapy cycles

You usually have chemotherapy as cycles of treatment. You have these drugs through a drip (intravenous infusion) into your arm, usually once every 3 or 4 weeks. Each 3 or 4 week period is known as one cycle of treatment. You will probably have between 3 and 4 cycles to begin with. If your treatment is working and you are not having too many side effects you will probably go on to have up to 6 cycles. So the complete chemotherapy course can take 6 months or more. Your own doctor will decide the exact number of treatments you have.

 

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy together (chemoradiation)

If you are having chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time (known as chemoradiation treatment), you are most likely to have the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

There is information about the side effects of chemoradiation in this section.

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Updated: 24 July 2014