Understanding Chemotherapy as an Effective Treatment for Prostate Cancer

May 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Treatment

Treatments for prostate cancer vary and they mostly depend on a lot of factors. Some of these include the stage of the cancer and how aggressive it has become.

A popular treatment for prostate cancer is Chemotherapy and it has been used successfully in managing the conditions of many prostate cancer patients. If you don’t know much about this treatment, here are some simple details that would help you understand it.

Chemotherapy is a treatment in which the doctor prescribes a combination of drugs treat symptoms of prostate cancer affecting the man. This type of cancer originates from the prostate gland and can spread to other parts of the body.

Stage of prostate cancer that requires chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is one effective treatment administered on cancer diseases, which includes prostate cancer.   This treatment is usually prescribed when the cancer is in the advanced stage, and when the use of hormonal treatments has failed to cure the man. Hence, this treatment is only effective and recommended for aggressive or metastatic prostate cancer.

How chemotherapy is administered

The chemotherapy process can be applied in either or two ways: The first could be by taking the combination of drugs orally or through the mouth. The second, which is the more often applied, is by injecting the drug through the vein (intravenous). Once the drugs diffuse into the bloodstream, they are transported to different cells in the body where they eventually kill growing cancer cells that have spread beyond the prostate. Chemotherapy has the effect of shrinking or killing cancer cells in any part of the body. Where cancer cells do not disappear, they symptoms for the man are reduced.

Side effects of chemotherapy

Like many other cancer treatments, chemotherapy has side effects which could be dangerous. One of the most devastating side effects of prostate cancer is damage to surrounding healthy cells. Cells do divide just as cancer cells do, so the drugs can kill any form or cell division in the body. The most common side effects of this treatment include: Hair loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, mouth sores, and infertility. Others may include diseases related to low blood counts.

If you are to undergo chemotherapy, it is important you discuss with your doctor about the side effects. The good news is that cells damaged during chemotherapy can be restored; also some treatments can be used to treat the side effects experienced when undergoing this treatment.

Finally, chemotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for advanced prostate cancer. It can be combined with other treatments for better results. Your doctor can tell you more about this treatment and your chances of surviving prostate cancer with it.

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