Blenoxane® (There may be other brand 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).
What is it Used For?
This drug is used to treat several types of cancer including testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas, and sarcomas.
How Does Bleomycin Work?
Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Both normal and cancer cells go through cycles that include a resting phase, active growing phases, and division. Your chemotherapy schedule is based upon the type of cancer you have, the rate at which they divide, and the times when each drug is the most likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles.
The faster cells are dividing (reproducing), the more likely it is that chemotherapy will damage/kill the cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference between cancer cells and normal cells that reproduce frequently. The cells in your body that are the most likely to be affected by chemotherapy are the cells that line the digestive tract (mouth, stomach, intestines), hair follicles, and blood cells.
These normal cells will eventually grow back and be healthy. During treatment, however, you may experience side effects from the chemotherapy’s effects cells.
Bleomycin is an antitumor antibiotic and is only used 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.