5 breast cancer medications approved by the FDA
Among women, breast cancer is known to be the most diagnosed cancer after skin cancer. It develops in the cells of the breasts. Although it can occur in both men and women, breast cancer is known to be more common among women. There are no known exact causes of this type of cancer; most often it is genetic. In some cases, environmental factors can also cause breast cancer.
Regular mammography and physical examination by a physician can help in early detection of breast cancer. Certain symptoms and signs include formation of a breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue, change in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast, changes to the skin over the breast, a newly inverted nipple, and peeling, scaling, crusting, or flaking of the areola or breast skin. There can be redness or pitting of the skin over the breast.
Depending on the stage at which it is detected, it is possible to completely recover from breast cancer. Make sure you consult your doctor regarding the same. Treatments often include the use of certain medications including the following:
Also known as Afinitor Disperz®, this breast cancer medication works by interfering with the growth of cancerous cells. It slows down the spread of the cancer cells in the body. Along with using it for the treatment of breast cancer, Afinitor® is also used for certain types of kidney cancer and brain tumor. Additionally, this medication is prescribed for certain types of progressive or advanced tumors of the pancreas, stomach, and intestines. Furthermore, Afinitor® is used in the treatment of specific types of seizure and non-cancerous tumors of the brain or kidney in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex.
With the chemical name Alpelisib, Piqray® belongs to class PI3K inhibitor. The PI3K pathway in the body provides energy to all the cells in the body. With the pathway overactivated due to PI3K gene mutation, the cancer cells get more energy to survive and grow. Piqray® being a PI3K inhibitor blocks the pathway so that the cancer cells are killed off. Piqray® is used along with other breast cancer medications for the treatment of metastatic and advanced-stage, hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer with a PIK3CA mutation that has grown post-hormonal therapy treatment in postmenopausal women and men.
A type of kinase inhibitor, Nerlynx® is the first breast cancer medication that has been approved specifically for extended adjuvant therapy of early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer. Its chemical name is neratinib. It is used to treat early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer after surgery. Nerlynx® works by blocking the cancerous cells’ ability to grow. It is usually taken after the initial treatment; this lowers the probability of cancer coming back. It is usually recommended to women who have received previous treatment with Herceptin (trastuzumab), a targeted therapy drug.
With a chemical name as ribociclib, Kisqali® is a targeted medication for those with a specific type of breast cancer. It works by blocking two proteins—cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), that help cancer cells grow. It is usually recommended to postmenopausal women who previously did not have drug treatment and have cancer of the type hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)-negative, and advanced or metastatic cancer. It is recommended along with other hormone therapy medications.
Also known as palbociclib, Ibrance® is recommended to those with a specific type of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, or metastasized. It is prescribed to postmenopausal women who have not previously received any drug treatment and whose breast cancer is of type estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative. This medication works by blocking two enzymes that help in the growth of cancer cells.