When we talk about steroids and its use for the treatment of cancer, the first thing that strikes our mind is the anabolic steroids that shrunk the testis and cause many other unwanted health conditions. However, the steroid of which we are talking is not the anabolic steroid but the corticosteroids which is a natural occurring hormone. This steroid hormone helps in regulating the body and in performing its functions efficiently. In addition to this, the steroids help in reducing inflammation, maintaining body immunity and the slat water balance.
A couple of years ago, the synthetic steroids came into existence; however, it functions quite differently from the natural steroids and tends to cause side effects.
The natural steroids that is being produced by the body itself is being produced by the body itself is being made in the adrenal glands. However, synthetic drugs are being made for the treatment of cancer. It effectively helps those suffering from cancer in a number of ways. Other than treating cancer, it helps in reducing inflammation, reduces the response of immunity after a transplant, reduces sickness during chemotherapy and helps to increase the appetite.
Also it contributes to effective treatment of the disease by reducing swollenness, allergic reactions, nausea and shrinks the tumor. Some of the steroids that are being used for the treatment of cancer are hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone and prednisolone.
Steroids are either injected directly to the veins through quick injection or by drip, in liquid or pill form or as a cream. Though steroids help in the effective treatment of cancer but it is not without any side effects. Despite the number of advantages that steroids have, the number of disadvantages or side effects is no lesser.
Some common side effects may include indigestion or heartburn, increased appetite, weight gain, swollenness at different parts of the body due to water retention, irregular menstruation, mood swings, changes in the blood sugar level, difficulty sleeping and pregnancy as well and an increased risk of infection.
There are certain things that you must take care of when you are on the medication. While taking the medication if you notice any changes or strange, consult your doctor immediately but do not discontinue your dose without the recommendation of your doctor. Make sure you always carry your card whenever you leave home. If you are on the steroid medication, it demands a little alertness on your part and a strict discipline when it comes to taking the medicine.