Non-small cell lung cancer—or NSCLC—is a type of lung cancer. There are several treatment options available to patients who have non-small cell lung cancer. One of these options is going on afatinib or Gilotrif.
What treatment option a doctor recommends to patients with NSCLC will depend on the characteristics of the patient’s lung cancer. In most cases, doctors will take a biopsy of the tumor. This will help them to determine the best treatment plan for the patient’s individual cancer.
Afatinib is available via prescription only. The drug is used to treat patients with certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. These would be NSCLC that has spread to other parts of the body (called metastatic cancer), or that has certain non-resistant abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes, or that has not previously been treated as metastatic lung cancer.
Being on afatinib may make some patients’ skin more sensitive to the sun, so patients are advised to limit their time spent in the sun. Being out in the sun for too long when on afatinib may cause skin rashes or acne, as well as severe sunburn. Patients are advised to wear sunscreen along with a hat and other clothing that covers the skin.
Serious side effects of afatinib include:
- skin reactions
- liver problems
- lung or breathing problems
- heart problems
- eye problems
The most common side effects of afatinib include:
- nail inflammation
- mouth sores
- dry skin
- decreased appetite
This is not an exhaustive list of side effects; patients should speak to their doctors about any concerns or anything that they do not usually experience.
Being on afatinib may also lower fertility in both males and females.
Talk to your doctor or to a healthcare professional to find out if afatinib is the right treatment option for you.
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