Guide To Managing Side Effects Of Chemotherapy
Follow these simple rules to manage your side effects:
Pay attention. Be aware of all expected and unexpected reactions to the drugs.
Be proactive. Make a list of your medications. Talk with your health care providers about what signs to look for and when to call them.
Relax and get well. Chemotherapy drugs are powerful and can take a toll on the body. Focus on getting well by finding ways to alleviate stress. These may include listening to music, doing yoga or stretching exercises, taking walks or watching TV.
Keep a journal. Write down any physical and emotional changes you experience while taking the medications. A written list will make it easier for you to remember your questions when you go to your appointments. It will also make it easier for you to work with your health care team to manage your side effects.
Consult your doctor. Talk with your health care providers about any side effects you experience. There are several drugs designed to help ward off or treat different side effects.
Treatment Options For Advanced Prostate Cancer
Its rare for prostate cancer to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. In about 90 percent of all cases, this type of prostate cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, when the disease is confined to the prostate. However, when the disease metastasizes, prostate cancer cells tend to spread to the brain, bones, lungs and liver. Metastatic prostate cancer cells may also be found in lymph nodes outside the pelvis.
In some cases, the treatment options for advanced prostate cancer may be considered palliative, used to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment options include:
Enlarged Prostate Versus Prostate Cancer
As men get older, their prostate gland tends to become larger. This can narrow the urethra, decrease urine flow, and cause other symptoms. When this happens, it is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate. This is not the same condition as prostate cancer.
Because benign prostatic hyperplasia and other conditions can cause symptoms similar to symptoms of prostate cancer, it is important to consult a specialist if youre symptomatic. Schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified urologists to discuss your symptoms and determine if you may be a candidate for the Urolift procedure for enlarged prostate relief.
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Determining The Prostate Cancer Treatment Thats Right For You
Once prostate cancer has been detected, graded, and given a Gleason score, your doctor will most likely refer you to a cancer specialist called an oncologist. The cancer care team will review the data and other factors like your age, the stage of the cancer, the presence of symptoms, and your overall general health before making the best recommendation.
The stage of cancer helps your oncologist determine how far cancer has spread throughout the body if at all.
- Stage 1 prostate cancer exists in the prostate only.
- Stage 2 prostate cancer has advanced more than stage 1 but hasnt yet spread to any other body parts.
- Stage 3 prostate cancer may still only exist on the prostate but covers more prostate than stage 2 and is accompanied by an abnormal PSA level. Stage 3 prostate cancer has sometimes spread to some of the surrounding tissues.
- Stage 4 prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
This is only a brief overview of the stages, as they can be further broken down for each patients unique situation. Learn more about the staging of prostate cancer.
If the cancer has moved outside of the prostate , youre more likely to need treatment right away. But for those patients who have cancer thats contained inside the prostate and is low grade, there are a few treatment options to consider starting with a watchful waiting approach.
Complications Of Surgery And Radiation
The next question we need to ask is whether the benefits of immediate treatment for prostate cancer outweigh the risks of complications. Surgery and radiotherapy have similar risks and side effects, which can have a devastating short-term and long-term impact on quality of life. The most common complications include:
While these represent the most common side effects of prostate cancer treatments, its important to remember that new research provides new information almost every year. For example, a study published in 2022 of more than 143,000 prostate cancer patients found that those who underwent radiotherapy were more likely to develop a secondary cancer within 5 years of treatment and also within 15 years of treatment, compared to those who underwent surgery or active surveillance.24
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Clinical Trials For Prostate Cancer
Major pharmaceutical companies continually research and develop medications and treatments, which must be shown to be safe and effective before the FDA approves them and doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through prostate cancerclinical trials, researchers test the effects of new medications on a group of volunteers with prostate cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the drugs under development and measure how well they treat prostate cancer, their safety, and any possible side effects.
Some people with prostate cancer are reluctant to join clinical trials for fear of getting no treatment at all. This is not true. Youâll get the most effective therapy available for your condition, or you might receive prostate cancer treatments that are being evaluated for future use. These drugs may be even more effective than the current treatment.
These websites offer information and services to help you find a prostate cancer clinical trial that is right for you:
TrialCheck. This website, developed by the nonprofit Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, is an unbiased cancer clinical trial matching and navigation service that lets you search for cancer trials based on disease and location.
National Cancer Institute. This website lists more than 6,000 cancer clinical trials and explains what to do when you find one that you think is right for you.
CDC: “How is prostate cancer treated?”
Types Of Treatment Options: Surgery Radiation Surveillance
Although treatment for prostate cancer is rarely urgent and often can be delayed safely, immediate treatment is an option. Surgery or radiation therapy are two of the most common types of prostate cancer treatments. Although there are several types of surgery available to treat early-stage prostate cancer, a radical prostatectomy and a laparoscopic prostatectomy are the most common.2 The aim of these surgeries is to simply remove the prostate itself to prevent the cancer from spreading.
- Radical prostatectomy: The surgeon removes the prostate and some surrounding tissue by making a cut either in the abdomen or perineum.
- Laparoscopic prostatectomy: The surgeon makes several small cuts in the abdomen and uses a camera and instruments to remove the prostate and some surrounding issue.
Radiation therapy is an option instead of surgery. Radiation works by applying high-energy rays to the prostate in order to kill the cancer cells. This is similar to radiation therapy used for other types of cancers. The American Cancer Society lists either surgery or radiation therapy as standard treatment options for prostate cancer.3
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Most Common Options For Treating Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer treatments have come a long way in a very short amount of time, allowing men to choose from a wide variety of treatments tailored to their specific situation. Learn more about some of the most common options for treating prostate cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, its important to research all of your treatment options. What worked for a friend may not be right for you, and you should choose a treatment that will provide you with the best outcome and quality of life.
Most cancers are graded from stage 1 to 4 in level of severity, but prostate cancer uses a different system called the Gleason score. In the Gleason system, prostate cancer is graded using numbers from 1 to 5. Often, prostate cancer has sections with different grades, so those grades are added together to calculate the Gleason score. The highest number on the Gleason score is 10. Your Gleason score helps determine what treatment options are possible.
Treatment By Stage Of Prostate Cancer
Different treatments may be recommended for each stage of prostate cancer. Your doctor will work with you to develop a specific treatment plan 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.
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Recurrent Prostate Cancer Treatment
For most patients, initial prostate cancer treatment includes either radiation therapy or surgery. If a patients prostate cancer returns, the other treatment option may be used. In addition, doctors may recommend the use of systemic therapies , like hormone therapy and possibly chemotherapy.
In some cases, patients can have what is known as biochemical recurrence. These patients have elevated PSA levels that indicate the disease has returned, but imaging exams do not show any cancer. Patients with biochemical recurrence are given intermittent hormone therapy and are monitored closely for further changes.
What Are The Advantages Of High
Advantages of high-intensity focused ultrasound include:
- It requires no surgical incisions into the body and doesnât use radiation.
- It can exactly target diseased tissue, leaving non-targeted healthy tissue unharmed.
- It is an outpatient procedure with a short recovery time. You can usually return to work or normal life in about 24 hours.
- It reduces the risk of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction compared with surgery or radiation therapy.
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What Is Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is a form of cancer therapy that employs high-intensity wave energy to destroy cancer cells. Over 50% of cancer patients receive radiation therapy as part of their treatment protocol. X-rays are the most common type of energy used during treatment, but gamma rays, protons, or electron beams can also be utilized. Radiation therapy refers typically to external beam radiation, meaning the source of energy comes from a device outside the patients body, targeting the beams at a specific location on the body.
However, radiation therapy can also be administered in other ways. Internal radiation therapy, known as brachytherapy, refers to the placement of a radioactive implant inside the body near the tumor location. The implant capsule can carry a higher dose of radiation to treat a smaller area than would be possible with external beam radiation.
Another form of radiation treatment, known as systemic radiation therapy, uses radioactive materials administered orally or through a vein. Although the radiation does pass through the body, the vast majority will be released at the tumor site, posing minimal risk to the rest of the body.
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Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer
You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.
How Much Does Prostate Cancer Treatment Cost In India
The cost of prostate cancer treatment in India will be determined on the basis of the stage of cancer and the type of treatment option recommended by the medical experts. The robotic surgery for prostate cancer in India starts from USD 6500 and for laparoscopic surgery cost is USD 5000 onwards.
The healthcare packages offered by Indian hospitals are highly affordable, especially for international patients. This is because the overall prostate cancer treatment cost in India is known to be lower than the cost of the same treatment in other countries. An international patient can save 50-70% of their money if they choose to have prostate cancer treatment in India.
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Emerging Therapies For Prostate Cancer
Researchers are pursuing several new ways to treat advanced prostate cancer. Vaccines that alter the body’s immune system and use genetically modified viruses show the most promise. One vaccine technique works by manipulating blood cells from the patient’s immune system and causing them to attack the prostate cancer.
Blood is drawn from the patient. From the blood sample, cells that are part of the immune system are exposed to cells that make up prostate cancer. Then the blood cells are placed back in the body, with the hope that they will cause other immune system cells to attack the prostate cancer. In a more traditional type of vaccine, the patient is injected with a virus that contains PSA. When the body is exposed to the virus, it becomes sensitized to cells in the body that contain PSA and their immune system attacks them.
Immune or genetic therapy have the potential to deliver more targeted, less invasive treatments for advanced prostate cancer. This would result in fewer side effects and better control of the prostate cancer.
What Is Focal Laser Ablation
Patient Dr. Michael Bedecs tells his story
Laser ablation generates intense heat that completely encompasses the targeted area. Under real-time MRI guidance, a special optical fiber is guided precisely into place at the core of the tumor. When activated, the laser emitted at the tip of the fiber destroys the tumor within minutes while special tracking called thermometry confirms the proper temperature. Afterward, multi-parametric MRI scans reveal that the destruction is complete, and the laser fiber is removed.
Did you know Focal Laser Ablation can ease the symptoms of BPH?
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Leading Specialists In Laser Ablation Procedure For Prostate Tumors
Are you, or is someone you love, at risk for prostate cancer? Have you been told that your PSA test results are high and you need a biopsy? Have you had a positive biopsy? Are you exploring alternatives to surgery or radiation?
The world of prostate cancer can be overwhelming, with confusing and conflicting information about the disease and its treatments, but little explaining what is happening inside your own body.
Rest assured. The Sperling Prostate Center team is here to put your mind at ease.
Patient Greyson Quarles tells his story
The Sperling Prostate Center in Florida offers noninvasive advanced imaging as a revolutionary first step in prostate tumor detection and diagnosis. The more you know about what is happening in your body, the more informed and rational your healthcare decisions will be. The best education is having a clear picture of what is going on within your own body. Dr. Sperling and his team will welcome and support you as advanced images are captured, your prostate gland is mapped, and the results are explained to you in a way you can fully understand.
What Is Prostate Cancer Ablation
To begin, its important to understand what ablation is. Ablation means the removal of diseased body tissue such as cancerous tumors. Image-guided ablation is performed by applying thermal energy that physically destroys the cancer. For prostate cancer, ablation is an alternative to surgery or radiation.
Thermal ablation for prostate cancer has two main advantages over surgery:
- Same day outpatient procedure
- Very rapid recovery time and return to normal activities
Ablation also has a unique advantage over surgery and radiation, which are both whole-gland treatments. Ablation can be done as a focal treatment with added benefits:
- Targets only the tumor plus an extra safety margin
- Avoids damage to healthy prostate tissue
- Greatly reduces the risk of impaired urinary and sexual function as compared to surgery
Today, focal treatment for prostate cancer is recognized as an excellent option for patients who are accurately diagnosed and determined to be appropriate for a focal approach. Besides being clinically qualified, psychologically they desire high quality of life after treatment and are committed to actively participating in their doctors follow-up monitoring protocol using PSA blood tests and multi-parametric MRI scans at prescribed intervals.