Androgen -Independent Prostate Cancer – Information That SHOULD be Useful to You

June 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Stages

It’s unfortunate that after treating prostate cancer in some men, the tumor may begin to grow again after a few years. This type of cancer may rely on androgen receptor activation in the body to grow.

Moreover, it may become impossible and useless to treat this with by inhibiting or blocking the male reproductive related hormone — testosterone or androgen.

When prostate cancer no longer depends on hormone treatment it is usually referred to as androgen – independent prostate cancer. Below are some useful pieces of information about this type of cancer.

Basics of androgen- independent prostate cancer

Androgen-independent prostate cancer is also called castration-resistant cancer or hormone-refractory prostate cancer. It is the type of cancer that resumes growth despite the hormonal treatments that have been applied to curb it. Testosterone or androgen is a male hormone, which has been revealed to promote cancer of the prostate. Usually, this applies to men with advanced prostate cancer.

The first line treatment for advanced prostate cancer is usually the administration of hormone treatments of hormonal therapy.

This treatment could be in the form of surgery (by surgically removing the testicles which produce androgens) or by taking medications that could would reduce or inhibit the androgen level in the body.

After all these treatments have been applied, androgen-independent prostate cancer will still appear because it is no longer responsive to hormonal treatment.

How androgen-independent prostate cancer is treated

If you have androgen-independent prostate cancer, the doctor can recommend chemotherapy as first line of treatment. This is a treatment that involves the administration of some oral medications or injections to shrink and kill the cancerous cells in the prostate.

Drug like Docetaxel in combination with prednisone and thalidomide has shown to be effective in treating hormone-refractory prostate cancer. As a second line of treatment, Abiraterone (Zytiga) has shown to give positive results. So, if chemotherapy fails, Abiraterone can be used.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has approved Docetaxel and Abiraterone — in 2004 and 2011 respectively. The life expectancy after usage of these treatments includes 2 to 3 months for Docetaxel, and 4 to 5 months for Abiraterone. More so, less toxic side effects have been recorded from the use of these medications.

Conclusively, androgen-independent prostate cancer is stubborn type of prostate cancer. With effective treatments, men who have been diagnosed can achieve a median survival rate. Ask your doctor for more information on this type of prostate cancer.

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