In prostate cancer cases, survival depends much on how early the diagnosis and treatment for the prostate are, according to Medical News Today.
Presently, chemotherapy is administered only after it is confirmed that hormone therapy is not effective as a cure anymore. Docetaxel is the drug given during chemotherapy. Hormone therapy is the traditional way of treating advanced prostate cancer since the 1940s. This is done by adjusting the production of hormones until effectively stopping its production either surgically of with medications. Most cancer specialists adopt the latter since there is danger involved and also there are fewer side effects than the former. The president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Peter Yu, confirms.
However, based on the current research about this, it is found out that if both are given at the same time, there would be a decrease in the spread of cancer cells. As a result, prostate cancer patients tend to live longer for an average of ten months. This method is more effective for men with metastatic cancer, the stage where cancer cells had already spread to other body parts. These patients tend to live longer. They are expected to survive for an average of twenty two months.
Dr. Nicholas James, director of the Cancer Research Unit at the University of Warwick in Coventry in England, said that the findings would hopefully convince other specialists to suggest the drug Docetaxel to metastatic cancer patients. That is, if they are fit enough to undergo chemotherapy, added Dr. James, who is also the lead author of the study.
According to Daily Medical News, findings from the study are yet to be disseminated on May 31 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. These findings are considered preliminary until peer-reviewed and finally published in the journal. Since 2005, the experiment was conducted on almost 3,000 patients. 60 percent are with metastatic cancer while the rest of 40 percent are with high-risk and advanced prostate cancer. All of them have not undergone hormone therapy.
The men undergo one of four treatment methods. All of them are given hormone therapy for three years. A group was not given any treatment after that. The second group was given the chemotherapy drug, Docetaxel, right after the hormone therapy. The third is given Zoledronic acid, the drug best suited for metastatic cancer cases. The fourth group got both drugs after hormone therapy, the Docetaxel and the Zoledronic acid. Those patients who are eligible for radiation therapy regardless of groupings received that treatment, as well, according to the recent study.
The result after 2 years? 948 men in the experiment had died.
The first group, those who are treated with hormone therapy alone lived up to 67 months on average. The second group, those who are treated with Docetaxel after hormone therapy has a better result, living up to 77 months on average. This is an improvement by 24 percent, relative to those who just received hormone therapy only. The next group survived 65 months on average, relative to those who are just given hormone therapy.
It was concluded that Docetaxel gives benefits to the prostate cancer patients. On the other hand, Zoledronic acid didn’t have any effect on the curability of the disease, combined with Docetaxel or otherwise, according to the experiment. The test was conducted on patients who are considered healthy enough. The drug involved may cause complications since there are several side effects that should be taken into account. It may worsen a patient’s life.
Hormone therapy’s side effects are fatigue, low red blood cell count, osteoporosis, unnatural reduction of muscle mass and reduced or loss of sexual faculty, while the drugs involved in giving chemotherapy may make the body more prone to adverse side effects, according to the doctors. However, it is advisable to add chemotherapy on top of the hormone therapy; but is a higher tendency that with the combined treatment might have undesirable way of life. Ironically, the specialists said that treating the cancer itself will already result to a productive and desirable life.
It is therefore very crucial that prostate cancer patients will subject themselves to proper monitoring on their individual and specific cases. Visiting a specialist occasionally really boosts the chances of more productive quality of life for males. This case, after all, is not a one-size-fits-all, based on breaking medical news. The sooner they’re tested, the sooner they’re treated.