Anticancer, or antineoplastic, drugs are used to treat malignancies, or cancerous growths. Drug therapy may be used alone, or in combination with other treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy.
Anticancer drugs are used to control the growth of cancerous cells. Cancer is commonly defined as the uncontrolled growth of cells, with loss of differentiation and commonly, with metastasis, spread of the cancer to other tissues and organs. Cancers are malignant growths. In contrast, benign growths remain encapsulated and grow within a well-defined area. Although benign tumors may be fatal if untreated, due to pressure on essential organs, as in the case of a benign brain tumor, surgery or radiation are the preferred methods of treating growths which have a well defined location. Drug therapy is used when the tumor has spread, or may spread, to all areas of the body.