Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment

Written by Amy Hall
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Men who are in stages III and IV of prostate cancer usually must tackle this disease head on with some aggressive treatments. Cancer that has spread to lymph nodes and other organs requires a much more powerful combination of therapies than cancer in earlier stages. Typically, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are used to shrink cancerous tumors and destroy cancer cells found throughout the body.

Hormone therapy may also be used after these other treatments are completed to discourage the growth of new cancer cells. Testosterone is the hormone that cancer cells thrive on; therefore, the need to eliminate this hormone is essential to long-term survival. Drugs used to decrease testosterone include Lupron, estrogen, and anti-androgens. If the testicles are removed, a man may be given anti-androgens to block the effects of any remaining testosterone in the body.

Fortunately, prostate cancer is slow growing, which means that many men who are diagnosed with this disease live long lives. Age is the biggest determining factor is the development of prostate cancer, which is why many men who are initially diagnosed later on in life (70s and 80s) live well into their eighties and nineties in some cases. Of course, the spread of cancer to other vital organs such as the liver, bones, and the lungs can greatly reduce the life expectancy of patients.

Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatments for a Long Life

Some of the side effects of these treatments include impotence, incontinence, and decreased sexual drive. However, many men happily live with these side effects if it means being alive long enough to enjoy their families. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about the latest advancements in prostate cancer therapies.

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