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Antineoplastic drugs interfere with the biochemical processes in organisms and their cells: they affect cell division or DNA synthesis in various ways. Because of these specific toxic effects, progression can be made in the treatment of patients with cancer.

Not only are antineoplastics effective against cancer, but they can also cause cancer due to the same toxic properties. Many types of antineoplastics therefore are considered to be carcinogenic. Some of these are proven human carcinogens. Furthermore, this type of drugs can be harmful to reproduction.

Occupational exposure to these antineoplastic drugs among workers in healthcare can cause health-related risks.