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Commonly Recommended Treatments When Prostate Cancer Has Spread


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3/3/2011
Jeffrey H. Dover
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Prostate cancer, like any cancer, has the ability to spread to other parts of the body. Unlike many other cancers, however, it takes prostate cancer a considerable amount of time to reach stage IV, when the disease becomes metastatic. Generally, prognoses for cancers at stage IV are relatively poor. This is partly due to how difficult it is for treatment options to successfully target and eliminate all of the cancer strongholds in the body once the cancer has spread. To try and achieve the best possible outcome for the patient, multiple treatment options will typically be utilized in fighting prostate cancer that has become metastatic.

With that said, certain courses of treatment have shown some success against metastatic prostate cancer. According to the Bone and Cancer Foundation, the most commonly used treatment option for metastatic prostate cancer is hormone therapy. Because prostate cells require the male hormone testosterone to develop, therapy to reduce testosterone levels in men can be very helpful. Sometimes, the testes can be removed to further reduce male hormone levels in the body. This procedure is known as an orchiectomy.

Conversely, hormonal medicines known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists can be used. These include leuprolide and goserelin. In addition, antiandrogen drugs can be administered to help combat prostate cancer, and these include bicalutamide and flutamide.
If the prostate cancer continues to develop despite the administering of hormonal therapy, chemotherapy may be able to help. The most commonly used chemotherapy drugs for metastatic prostate cancer are known as docetaxel and mitoxantrone.

There are side effects to many prostate cancer treatments, and chemotherapy is no exception. Because of the treatment’s side effects, chemotherapy is not suitable for some men with metastatic prostate cancer. If the cancer has spread to the bones, which often occurs in metastatic prostate cancer, there are other alternative treatment options to consider. These include external beam radiation therapy, radiopharmaceuticals, bisphosphonates and surgery.


Category: Failure to Diagnose Cancer


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