Bleomycin

Brand Names

Blenoxane® (There may be other names for this medication.)

How is Bleomycin Administered?

Your medicine may be given by given intravenously (IV), which means it will be given through a tube placed in a vein, usually in your arm, wrist, hand or chest. It may also be given as an injection under the skin (SQ) or into a large muscle in the buttock, upper arm, or thigh (IM).

Why am I Taking Bleomycin?

Bleomycin treats several types of cancer including cancers of the head and neck, testicles, and cervix. It also treats non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, squamous cell carcinomas, melanoma, and sarcoma.

How Does Bleomycin Work?

Cancers are diseases in which abnormal cells reproduce uncontrollably. Your chemo schedule is based upon:

  • your cancer type and how fast the cancer cells reproduce
  • the phase of the cell cycle when the chemo is most effective — the resting, growing, or reproduction phases

With these factors in mind, your doctors create a chemo schedule to give each medication when it will do the most damage to the cancer cells.

Bleomycin is an antitumor antibiotic, an antibiotic used only to treat cancer. It acts upon/interferes with the cells during certain phases of the cells’ cycles and slows or stops the growth of the cancer. Many chemo medications identify and attack cancer cells because they reproduce quickly. Some cells in your body normally reproduce quickly and they are likely to be damaged/destroyed by chemo. These normal cells will eventually grow back and be healthy. During treatment, however, you may experience side effects from chemo’s effects on these cells.

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