Treating Metastatic Prostate Cancer To The Bone

Prostate cancer is curable ? some treatments can even guarantee you close to ten years (others more) of living free of the biochemical disease without worry about a relapse. However, this is only possible when the treatment is given during the early stages of the disease; late stage prostate cancer, especially one in which the disease has spread to the bones, is not curable.

That said, bone metastatic prostate malignant cancer is very treatable, sometimes such that survival may even be extended for the patient by a number of years. This effort is called palliative care, in which effort is centered on extending the life of the patient and administering various combinations of treatments and medications to relieve the symptoms of the metastatic disease. Even then, other interventions are being considered for their potential in curing the condition, and others for how they can help with palliation.

One treatment shows promise in treating such advanced stage prostate cancer, although it is still in clinical trials. Abiraterone Acetate causes a remarkable PSA level reduction and lessens tumor sizes. A close follow-up, chemotherapy also slows disease progression and postpones symptoms, especially when used with corticosteroids; while zoledronic acid has been shown to delay skeletal complications in the nature of fractures. Zoledronic acid is a bisphosphonates.

Radiation therapy in patients with hormone-refractory metastatic prostate cancer is a great way to control bone metastasis; which combined with the new alpha emitting Alpharadin can significantly slow the progression of the disease on the bones and considerably reduce the pain. Alpharadin is phase III testing at the moment, and phase II results so far show ‘prolonged patient survival times, reduced pain and improved quality of life,’ according to certain reports.

But say the cancer is in the bone already; the best treatment may be to deal with the bone pain while also attempting to slow the development of the disease. To that end, the patient might have to get narcotics prescriptions from the doctor because opioid pain relievers like morphine and oxycodone may just be the best way to relieve the pain. Some external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) has also been known to produce some pain relief as well, when directed toward bone metastases, while radioisotopes injected into the bones can also help in some way. Strontium-89, phosphorus-32, or samarium-153 is good radioisotopes that provide pain relief by targeting bone metastases.

And to prolong the life of the patient, some recent findings have suggested that late stage radiation therapy and prostatectomy may double or triple the survival of the patient. However, until the final results come in, doctors remain skeptical.

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