Steroids are substances that are naturally produced in the body. Steroids help to control many different functions in our bodies.
- the way the body uses fats, proteins and carbohydrates
- the immune system
- the balance of salt and water in our bodies
Steroids can also be made in a laboratory as drugs.
They can be used in cancer treatment:
- to help destroy cancer cells and make chemotherapy more effective
- to reduce an allergic reaction to certain drugs
- as an anti-sickness drug
- to improve your appetite
- to reduce symptoms such as pain caused by swelling (inflammation) around a cancer.
The most commonly used steroids are: