Chemotherapy – Is It Right For You?


It is typical that when people think of cancer they often think of chemo; chemotherapy, that is. In actuality, chemotherapy is not always the first therapy choice for all types of cancer. Prostate cancer is one such cancer in which chemotherapy is not the number one choice of doctors. Read below for the typical treatments of prostate cancer, as well as more information on chemotherapy available for prostate cancer patients. The first treatment that a prostate cancer patient will probably undergo is surgery. This first attempt at getting rid of the prostate cancer is usually done while the cancer is in early stages. Another treatment commonly used in treating prostate cancer is radiation therapy. In this therapy, rays of high energy are used to kill cancer cells. Each of these treatments can cause impotence and urinary incontinence.

Cryosurgery and Hormonal Agents

Another, more experimental procedure for treating prostate cancer is cryosurgery in which nitrogen infested probes are set in the prostate thereby freezing the cancerous tissue. The side effects are the same, and it has been found that surgery and radiation are more effective treatments. One type of prostate cancer chemotherapy refers to hormonal agents that travel through a man’s body after androgen has been deprived. These include ketoconazole, glucocorticoids, progestational agents, high-dose anti-androgens and PC-SPECS. The purpose of these agents ranges from suppressing the creation of androgen to improving appetite and reducing tumors.

Standard Prostate Cancer Chemotherapy

The typical idea of prostate cancer chemotherapy rests in chemicals that poisons cell growth and results in cell death upon division. Such drugs include mitozantrone, doxorubicin, vinblastine, paclitaxel, docetaxel, estramustine phosphate and etopisode. These drugs are used mainly to alter the process of cell division or mitosis of cancerous cells.

Problems with Prostate Cancer Chemotherapy

There are problems with using chemotherapy to treat prostate cancer. One such problem is that chemotherapy can kill not only cancerous cells but also non-cancerous cells as well. Typically, prostate cancer chemotherapy is only used when the disease has advanced and has spread throughout the body. Prostate cancer chemotherapy has many side effects that may haunt a patient. These include hair loss, impairment of the immune system, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is wise to talk with your doctor about many treatment options that will fit into your lifestyle. It is also imperative that you create a support system for yourself. Most often you will find people are more than happy to help you any way they can.