What Mitomycin-C is and what it is used for?
- Mitomycin-C is classified as an anticancer antibiotic. This medicine inhibits DNA and RNA synthesis, thereby stopping cell replication and eventually causing cell death. This cell damage slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.
- Mitomycin-C is used to treat stomach cancer, bladder cancer and pancreatic cancer. This drug also may be used to treat many types of cancer, such as breast cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, as determined by your doctor.
How Mitomycin-C is given?
- This drug is given as an infusion into the vein over several minutes.
- This drug can be delivered into the bladder by a catheter, and left in the bladder for 1-2 hours.
What should I know while receiving Mitomycin-C?
- If Mitomycin-C leaks into the skin, it can cause severe tissue damage. Tell your nurse right away if you notice swelling, pain, or redness at the injection site during an infusion.
- Do not receive this drug when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Men and women should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 6 months after the treatment ends.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- Mitomycin-C may affect fertility. You can talk to your doctor about methods of preserving fertility before treatment starts.
- There are many drugs may affect how mitomycin-C works. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- You will have regular blood tests to check that you have enough blood cells and have adequate organ functions to receive this drug. The timing and dosing of your treatment may be changed based on the test results or other side effects.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of mitomycin-C. You should let your doctor know if you have any other medical problems, especially liver or kidney problems.
Common side effects
- Low white blood cell count
You may have a higher risk of getting infections. Try to stay away from crowds and wash hands often. Tell your doctor right away if you have repeated fevers, coughing, stuffy nose, a painful urination or wound that becomes red and swollen.
- Low platelet count
You may have a higher risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know if you find red or purple dots on the skin, bleeding from the nose or gums, or any bruising or bleeding that you cannot explain.
- Weakness and fatigue
Try to pace yourself and rest as much as possible. Seek medical advice if fatigue does not go away when you rest and sleep.
Less common side effects
- Low red blood cell count
You may look pale and get tired more easily. Let your doctor know if you experience any difficulty breathing or dizziness when changing positions.
- Mouth sores
Your doctor may give you medicines that help you feel better. Good mouth care will help prevent mouth sores.
- Nausea or vomiting
Your doctor will prescribe you medicines to help stop it happening before the drug is given. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may help lessen these symptoms.
- Loss of appetite
Medicines may be given before the treatment to prevent it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may reduce the discomfort.
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve diarrhea.
- Hair loss
It may begin 2-3 weeks after your first treatment. Hair growth should return after treatment has finished.
- Bladder inflammation
This is more common in patients treated with intravesical mitomycin-C therapy. You may have frequent need to pass urine, have a pain or burning feeling when you pass urine, and even have blood in the urine. Symptoms usually last less than 2 days. Tell your doctor if symptoms do not go away.
Rare but serious side effects
- Lung or breathing problems
Mitomycin-C may affect how you breathe. Tell your doctor if you develop difficulty breathing with wheezing and coughing or there is any existing breathing problems get worse.
- Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day can help make your recovery a smoother process.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarettes during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor.