Cancer Chemotherapy Prostate – A good Treatment Option

Chemotherapy is generally one of the better known treatments for most forms of cancer. It is the administration of specifically tailored drugs to a cancer sufferer with the intention of the drugs getting into the bloodstream and killing off the cancer cells that are in the body.

One of the biggest merits of chemotherapy is that it does not have to be restricted to one specific area of the patient’s body. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to administer the drugs that way. The medicines have to travel the extent of the patient’s body, killing every rapidly dividing cell in its path. This makes chemotherapy ideal for the treatment of metastatic cancers that are no longer situated at their organs of origin.

In the treatment of prostate cancer though, this big quality might be considered something of a handicap because this malignancy of the cells of the prostate gland is essentially a slow growing adenocarcinoma, in which the cells, although mutating and dividing more rapidly than they should, they are not too distinct from normal cells themselves. This is partly why there are no early symptoms for prostate type of cancer, but this is also why chemotherapy may not be applied in the early stages of the disease.

In prostate cancer treatment then, chemo is relegated to some kind of salvage therapy in which intervention is brought in when the cancerous cells have hit the patient’s bloodstream and started to metastasize to other parts of the body. Metastatic prostate carcinoma hits the lymphatic system first, causing swelling of the lymph nodes; and then it hits the pelvis, causing excruciating bone pain; and then it moves further out to the bones of the spinal column, the femur, the ribs, and maybe even the skull. But when that happens, chemotherapy can come to the rescue.

There is another problem here: late stage or advanced prostate cancer of this nature is not really considered be a curable condition, which is why this type of chemo is usually some kind of palliative measure, aimed more at extending the life of the patient and relieving the symptoms of metastatic disease. Even though chemo has the potential to cure the disease, and actually may do so in some extreme cases, doctors are never optimistic about such, and they make it clear in their weak prognosis.

Chemotherapy does have its side effects too, which result from the fact that the treatment generally affects rapidly dividing cells in the body. That is why several sufferers of prostate kind of cancer have to endure hair loss as well as a number of other symptoms when they undergo chemotherapy. But it is a small price to pay if the treatment can add another couple of lives for the patient to live.

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