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How Long Does Prostate Cancer Treatment Last

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Treatment By Stage Of Prostate Cancer

How long does chemotherapy or hormone therapy for prostate cancer last? (Kathryn Bylow, MD)

Different treatments may be recommended for each stage of prostate cancer. Your doctor will recommend a specific treatment plan for you based on the cancers stage and other factors. Detailed descriptions of each type of treatment are provided earlier on this same page. Clinical trials may also be a treatment option for each stage.

Early-stage prostate cancer

Early-stage prostate cancer usually grows very slowly and may take years to cause any symptoms or other health problems, if it ever does at all. As a result, active surveillance or watchful waiting may be recommended. Radiation therapy or surgery may also be suggested, as well as treatment in clinical trials. For those with a higher Gleason score, the cancer may be faster growing, so radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy are often recommended. Your doctor will consider your age and general health before recommending a treatment plan.

ASCO, the American Urological Association, American Society of Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology recommend that patients with high-risk early-stage prostate cancer that has not spread to other areas of the body should receive radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy with hormonal therapy as standard treatment options.

Locally advanced prostate cancer

Watchful waiting may be considered for older adults who are not expected to live for a long time and whose cancer is not causing symptoms or for those who have another, more serious illness.

How Long Can You Live With Prostate Cancer With No Treatment

Studies have shown that between 86% and 98% of men with LPC do not die from their cancer in all age groups, the researchers wrote. In fact, more than 95% of patients with LPC live at least 10 years after their diagnosis, whereas only 25% of patients in this study expected to live more than 10 years.

What Symptoms Should I Look Out For

If your cancer does come back, the first sign is likely to be a;rise in your PSA level, rather than any symptoms. And problems will often be;side effects of treatment;rather than a sign that your cancer has come back.

However, its important to let your doctor or nurse know if you do get any new symptoms or side effects, or are worried that your cancer might have come back. If your cancer has come back and has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, it;can cause symptoms, such as extreme tiredness ” rel=”nofollow”>fatigue),;bone pain;and;problems urinating.

Your doctor or nurse can help find out what might be causing your symptoms and help you manage any side effects. They can also look at your;PSA level;and do other tests to see whether or not your cancer might have come back.

What other tests might I have?

If your doctor or nurse is concerned about your PSA level;or if you have;new symptoms that suggest your cancer might have come back, they may recommend that you have some other tests, such as a;prostate biopsy,;MRI scan,;CT scan,;bone scan;or;PET scan.

Your doctor or nurse will explain these tests to you if you need them, or you can get in touch with our;Specialist Nurses;for more information.

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If This Uncertainty Would Bother You So Much That It Would Affect Your Quality Of Life Surgery May Be A Better Option For You Phuoc Tran Md Phd

However, if youre okay with waiting for the PSA nadir, and if you dont mind getting treatment over the course of a few weeks instead of in one operation, then radiation may be ideal for you.;

What are my options?

Conventional external-beam radiation therapy is given in little doses, a few minutes a day, five days a week, for seven or eight weeks. ;These small doses minimize the injury risk for the healthy tissue near the tumor. ;Scientists measure radiation in units called Gy . ;Most men get a minimum total dose of 75.6 ;Gy, but could get as much as 81 Gy; this works out to 2 Gy or less per day. ;

The treatment itself is painless just like getting an x-ray at the dentists office. ;But one big challenge with getting repeated treatments is making sure youre always in the exact same position, so the radiation can hit the target the way its supposed to. ;Thus, you will be custom-fitted with your own pelvic immobilization device, which will not only keep you from fidgeting, but will make sure youre not slightly higher and to the right on the table one day, and slightly lower and to the left the next. ;

When you get fitted for your device, you will have a CT scan, so doctors can get a 3D look at your prostate. ;Then, when you get the radiation, you wont just get it from one side, but from multiple directions, and each beam of radiation will be individually shaped to target the cancer and a 5- to 10-millimeter margin of healthy tissue around the prostate.

Frequent Urination Burning With Urination And Difficulty Urinating

How long does chemotherapy or hormone therapy for prostate ...

These are the most common complaints. Occasionally the urinary stream will weaken. Generally these symptoms are managed with medications to help the bladder function better or eliminate burning. Rarely, your doctor may order a urine test. Symptoms will resolve after the end of treatment. Contact your doctor if you see blood in your urine or if you are unable to urinate.

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Swelling Bruising Or Tenderness Of The Scrotum

Symptoms generally resolve on their own within three to five days. Oral anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are usually sufficient for pain relief, if necessary. You should avoid hot tubs and Jacuzzis for at least two to three days after the procedure. Postpone bike riding until the tenderness is gone.

Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer

If the cancer has reached an advanced stage, it’s no longer possible to cure it. But it may be possible to slow its progression, prolong your life and relieve symptoms.

Treatment options include:

  • hormone treatment
  • chemotherapy

If the cancer has spread to your bones, medicines called bisphosphonates may be used. Bisphosphonates help reduce bone pain and bone loss.

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Coping With Prostate Cancer

  • Comparison of physical interventions, behavioural interventions, natural health products, and pharmacologics to manage hot flashes in patients with breast or prostate cancer : Protocol for systematic review incorporating network meta analysis B Hutton and othersSystematic reviews,;2015. Volume 4, Pages 1-7

  • Course and Moderators of Hot Flash Interference during androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer: A Matched ComparisonB Gonzalez and othersThe Journal of Urology, 2015. Volume 194, Pages 690-695

  • How long do the effects of acupuncture on hot flashes persist in cancer patients?J Frisk and othersSupportive care in cancer, 2014. Volume 22, Pages 1409-1415

  • Randomized trial to assess the impact of venlafaxine and soy protein on hot flashes and quality of life in men with prostate cancerM Vitolins and others

What Other Factors Contribute To Fatigue

How Long Does Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Take?

Several other factors could contribute to fatigue, including:

  • Tumor cells compete for nutrients, often at the expense of the normal cells’ growth.
  • Decreased nutrition from the side effects of treatments can also cause fatigue.
  • Cancer treatments, specifically chemotherapy, can cause reduced blood counts, which may lead to anemia, a blood disorder that occurs when the blood cannot adequately transport oxygen through the body. When tissues don’t get enough oxygen, fatigue can result.
  • Medicines used to treat side effects such as nausea, pain, depression, anxiety, and seizures can also cause fatigue.
  • Research shows that chronic, severe pain increases fatigue.
  • Stress can worsen feelings of fatigue. Stress can result from dealing with the disease and the “unknowns,” as well as from worrying about daily tasks or trying to meet others’ needs.
  • Fatigue may result when you try to maintain your normal daily routines and activities during treatments. Modifying your schedule and activities can help conserve energy.
  • Depression and fatigue often go hand-in-hand. It may not be clear which started first. One way to sort this out is to try to understand your depressed feelings and how they affect your life. If you are depressed all the time, were depressed before your cancer diagnosis, or are preoccupied with feeling worthless and useless, you may need treatment for depression.

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Sexuality And Feeling Good About Your Body

Prostate cancer treatment can often affect sexual function. Learning to be comfortable with your body during and after prostate cancer treatment is a personal journey, one that is different for everyone. Information and support can help you cope with these changes over time. Learn more in Sex and;the Man With Cancer.

What Is The Importance Of Preserved Erectile Function

In considering the impact of the various treatment approaches for prostate cancer on their quality of life, many patients place paramount importance on the possibility of retaining natural erectile function. This matter is frequently important to young men who by age status are more likely to have intact erectile function than older men; however, for all men having normal preoperative erectile function irrespective of age, preservation of this function is understandably important postoperatively.

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Short Term Side Effects

Patients who receive any type of radiation therapy to treat their prostate cancer can have side effects. Short term side effects are ones that start during or shortly after your radiation treatment. Below is a list of possible short term side effects. Treatments can affect each patient differently, and you may not have these particular side effects. Talk with your care team about what you can expect from your treatment

Getting Regular Physical Activity

Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects Comparison

Some research has suggested that men who exercise regularly after treatment might be less likely to die from their prostate cancer than those who dont. Its not clear exactly how much activity might be needed, but more seems to be better. More vigorous activity might also be more helpful than less vigorous activity. Further studies are needed to follow up on these findings.

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Possible Risks And Side Effects Of Brachytherapy

Radiation precautions: If you get permanent brachytherapy, the seeds will give off small amounts of radiation for several weeks or months. Even though the radiation doesnt travel far, your doctor may advise you to stay away from pregnant women and small children during this time. If you plan on traveling, you might want to get a doctors note regarding your treatment, as low levels of radiation can sometimes be picked up by detection systems at airports.

There’s also a small risk that some of the seeds might move . You may be asked to strain your urine for the first week or so to catch any seeds that might come out. You may be asked to take other precautions as well, such as wearing a condom during sex. Be sure to follow any instructions your doctor gives you. There have also been reports of the seeds moving through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, such as the lungs. As far as doctors can tell, this is uncommon and doesnt seem to cause any ill effects.

These precautions arent needed after HDR brachytherapy, because the radiation doesnt stay in the body after treatment.

Bowel problems: Brachytherapy can sometimes irritate the rectum and cause a condition called radiation proctitis. Bowel problems such as rectal pain, burning, and/or diarrhea can occur, but serious long-term problems are uncommon.

To learn more, see the Radiation Therapy section of our website.

Are There Side Effects Of The Combination Approach

There is a slightly higher chance that patients who receive the combined therapy will have rectal irritation or urinary side effects, both of which are common with any radiation treatment given to the prostate. But at MSK, we routinely use sophisticated planning techniques that help us reduce the dose given to normal tissues such as the rectum, bladder, and urethra, lessening the chances of side effects and complications.

In addition, at MSK, we routinely use a rectal spacer gel, which we inject between the prostate and the rectum while the patient is under mild anesthesia, to create a buffer between these two tissues. By creating this space, we can further reduce the dose of radiation that the rectum is exposed to. This leads to fewer side effects for the patient. The rectal spacer gel is biodegradable and after a few months dissolves on its own within the body, causing no harm or long-term effects.

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Proton Beam Radiation Therapy

Proton beam therapy focuses beams of protons instead of x-rays on the cancer. Unlike x-rays, which release energy both before and after they hit their target, protons cause little damage to tissues they pass through and release their energy only after traveling a certain distance. This means that proton beam radiation can, in theory, deliver more radiation to the prostate while doing less damage to nearby normal tissues. Proton beam radiation can be aimed with techniques similar to 3D-CRT and IMRT.

Although in theory proton beam therapy might be more effective than using x-rays, so far studies have not shown if this is true. Right now, proton beam therapy is not widely available. The machines needed to make protons are very expensive, and they arent available in many centers in the United States. Proton beam radiation might not be covered by all insurance companies at this time.

Why Is A Simple Prostatectomy Performed

What to Expect after Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

There are varying degrees of prostate enlargement.

If your prostate grows only slightly, many minimally-invasive surgeries can remove part of the gland, such as transurethral resection of the prostate .

However, if your prostate becomes very large , your surgeon will need to perform a simple prostatectomy. This involves removing the inner core of your prostate gland. Most men who undergo this type of surgery are age 60 or older.

Special diets, changes in drinking habits, and medications are often tried before surgery is recommended.

Your doctor may recommend a simple prostatectomy if your prostate is very large and you are suffering from:

  • extremely slow urination

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Prostate Cancer Treatment Advances

Oncologists and researchers continue to accumulate data through studies and clinical trials, but it takes years for new advances to become part of the standard of care. However, weve seen some notable prostate cancer treatment advances over the past few years that are now more widely available to patients. Some advances may attempt to improve treatment outcomes, while others may improve patients quality of life by reducing the severity of treatment side effects. While this is not a comprehensive discussion of advances in prostate cancer treatment, the following advancements are noteworthy.

Possible Side Effects Of Chemotherapy

Chemo drugs attack cells that are dividing quickly, which is why they work against cancer cells. But other cells in the body, such as those in the bone marrow , the lining of the mouth and intestines, and the hair follicles, also divide quickly. These cells can also be affected by chemo, which can lead to side effects.

The side effects of chemo depend on the type and dose of drugs given and how long they are taken. Some common side effects can include:

These side effects usually go away once treatment is finished. There are often ways to lessen these side effects. For example, drugs can be given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.

Along with the risks above, some side effects are seen more often with certain chemo drugs. For example:

  • Docetaxel and cabazitaxel sometimes cause severe allergic reactions. Medicines are given before each treatment to help prevent this. These drugs can also damage nerves , which can cause numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the hands or feet.
  • Mitoxantrone can, very rarely, cause leukemia several years later.
  • Estramustine carries an increased risk of blood clots.

If you notice any side effects while getting chemo report them to your cancer care team so that they can be treated promptly. In some cases, the doses of the chemo drugs may need to be reduced or treatment may need to be delayed or stopped to prevent the effects from getting worse.

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Hormonal Therapy For Aggressive Prostate Cancer: How Long Is Enough

  • By Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Men weighing treatment options for intermediate- or high-risk cancer that is still localized to the prostate can face a tricky question. A standard approach in these cases is to give radiation to the prostate along with drugs that block testosterone, a hormone that makes the cancer cells grow faster. For how long should this hormone therapy last? Thats not entirely clear. The drugs have side effects, such as fatigue, impotence, and a loss of muscle mass. But radiation doesnt control prostate cancer effectively without them. Doctors therefore aim to give hormone therapy only for as long as it takes to help their patients, without causing any undue harm.

Now, newly published results from a phase 3 clinical trial are providing some needed guidance.

General Prostate Cancer Survival Rate

prostate cancer: how long does a six month LHRH shot last ...

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • The relative 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%
  • The relative 10-year survival rate is 98%
  • The 15-year relative survival rate is 91%

Note: Relative survival rate means the percentage of patients who live amount of years after their initial diagnosis.

Keep in mind, however, that because the compiled list figures are of cancers diagnosed up to 15 years ago, you may have an even greater chance of survival than these indicate due to advances in prostate cancer treatment technology

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