Ketoconozole Treatment For Prostate Cancer

September 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Treatment

There are various ways in which prostate cancer can be treated and Ketoconazole is one of them. Ketoconazole is a prescription drug used mainly to treat fungal infections, which works by weakening fungal cell walls and killing the fungus or stopping its growth. It now so happens that Ketoconazole is also used to in the treatment of prostate cancer because it suppresses the production of testosterone, a hormone necessary for prostate cancer cell survival.

There are a number of hormones of the male reproductive system that, although they do not cause the disease, have been implicated as factors that cause the disease to progress more rapidly because the prostate cancer cells feed on them. DHT is the main culprit, a hormone produced and secreted by the prostate gland due to the action of testosterone from the testicles and DHEA from the adrenal glands. By interrupting this synthesis at any point, the DHT production is compromised and the prostate cancer cells cannot get the critical fuel that they require for their progression. Due to this treatment, the adenocarcinoma generally stops growing and may even shrink.

Ketoconazole does precisely this; available as a tablet, cream, or shampoo, it can be taken in tablet form take 200 to 400 mg once a day for fungal infections, and 400 mg three times a day for prostate cancer. Ketoconazole should be taken with food so that it can be better absorbed by the system and stomach irritation can be avoided.

As a hormonal treatment for prostate cancer, the drug does have some common side effects. The naturally induced reduction in testosterone production is sure to impair sexual function in males; but other contraindications include skin irritation and rash, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and liver problems. As a result patients with active liver disease or those who have previously had allergic reactions to the medication should not take it. If the doctor knows this, they will not administer the drug. Anyone allergic to related antifungal drugs should exercise caution in taking the drug as well.

It should also be noted that it is not a cure for prostate cancer, rather a treatment that is meant to slow the progression of the disease. In certain condition it can be given in early stage disease to cause the tumor in the prostate to shrink so that it can be operated upon in order to remove the tumor, or so that it can be irradiated to kill the cancerous cells. However, it is mostly reserved for advanced stage disease that is not hormone refractory to provide some form of palliative care to the patient. I hope this article helps to increase your understanding of Ketoconozole Treatment For Prostate Cancer.

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