New Oral Drug Helps in Delaying the Spread of Prostate Cancer

September 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

A prescription oral chemotherapy drug has been researched and found to delay the spread of advanced prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer at this stage is fast killing as it has spreads beyond the prostate cells. Chemotherapy treatment could be applied on patients with this stage of prostate cancer.

However, it comes with some side effects that could be discouraging. With the new oral drugs, the spread of cancer in the advanced stage would be delayed. Here is a recent story that highlights the need for the new oral treatment:

Prostate cancer cost Pablo Orta the ability to run the business he built from the ground up.

The 53-year-old military veteran endured months of chemotherapy, debilitating weakness and blood clots that nearly killed him.

“Pablo went through hell,” oncologist Dr. Leonardo Forero said.

But for Orta, life goes on, thanks in part to a new oral chemotherapy treatment.

“I stay positive with it,” Orta said. “Sometimes I sit there in the (Texas Oncology) waiting room and I see people out there with no hope. I don’t feel that way. The Marines never teach you how to retreat, only to move forward.”

Orta experienced swelling in his leg four years ago and went to a doctor to figure out what was causing it. The day after his 49th birthday, doctors told him he had stage four prostate cancer, meaning the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and could not be cured, he said.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, according to data from the American Cancer Society. About 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2012 and about 28,170 men will die of the disease during the year, according to the cancer society.

The cancer is very treatable if caught in the early stages.

Cancer society data shows the five-year survival rate for stage one and stage two cancers is nearly 100 percent.

The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer is about 30 percent, according to cancer society data.

Forero said he and his colleagues focused on keeping Orta’s cancer from advancing further.

He had to endure 18 months of chemotherapy treatment, Texas Oncology spokeswoman Erin Dillard said.

During that time, Orta said he had to deal with fever, body aches and a lack of function in his day-to-day life, but he pressed on. Orta also became anemic as a result of the chemotherapy, which caused him to faint and break his back last July, he said.

Orta is a guitarist and was a longtime Tarpley Music Co. employee before starting his own music store, Pablo’s Music, but his injury made if difficult for him to even play his guitar.

“My guitar only weighs 8½ pounds. … I couldn’t even hold my guitar,” he said. “So when I started playing music in church again I had to play sitting down.”

He hesitated to continue chemotherapy in his weakened state.

But in December, Orta started taking a new prescription pill researchers said can delay the spread of cancerous tumors and reduce the amount of pain prostate cancer patients experience.

Orta said he has experienced fewer side effects and has seen his cancer’s progression slow since he started the new medication.

“Pablo is an example of new drugs and treatment (for prostate cancer patients),” Forero said.

Still, scientists struggle with diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.

Forero said the current method for screening patients, known as prostate-specific antigen screening, is flawed because it identifies heightened levels of the antigen when patients might not have cancer.

Some doctors do not recommend the screenings for their patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

“The main question is how we come up with a good screening test, something to tell us ‘This is cancer, but this is an aggressive cancer,’’’ Forero said. “I think that technology will help us in the future to figure it out.”

In the meantime, Orta takes things one day at a time. He enjoys babysitting his grandson and playing music at Amarillo Fellowship Church.

“I’m a Christian, so I wasn’t concerned about death the way someone else would be,” he said. Source.

The story above is one hope. For Pablo Orta, it is right to live positive with cancer of the prostate.

The new oral drug has given him a new lease of life. Many men that share similar fate with him can still hope to get the same result with Orta.

So, it is right to take advantage of this new medication for treating advanced stage cancer of the prostate. Prostate cancer delay can save lives for most people.

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