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Prostate Cancer Chemotherapy

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer which affects men and involves the formation of cancer cells within the prostate.  It is typically a slow growing type of cancer and can often be effectively treated when diagnosed in the early stages.  Prostate cancer chemotherapy is one type of treatment which can be used for this disease.  We will discuss this type of treatment in further detail as well as touch on some of the benefits and expected side effects and complications.

As indicated earlier, there are a number of treatments which can be used for prostate cancer.  They type of treatment used often depends on the type of prostate cancer involved, its stage of development and important factors regarding the patient. 

Prostate cancer chemotherapy is not commonly used to treat this disease in the early stages.  There are several other forms of treatment which can be more effective with fewer complications.  One of the important aspects of chemotherapy to note is that while the drugs used can be very effective at killing cancer cells they can also affect other cells which divide quickly. 

Since most of the drugs course through the entire body before hitting the areas of concern, they can cause damage to other otherwise healthy cells.  And in the early stages of prostate cancer, doctors want to avoid damaging any more of the prostate than is necessary.  Other forms of treatment can successfully address the cancer while minimizing damage to other tissue. 

But prostate cancer chemotherapy is often used in later stage prostate cancer.  There is not as much concern about affecting other tissues since many of them already have cancerous cells.  So the chemotherapy can be used to treat this cancer over a more widespread area. 

It can also be helpful in reducing symptoms like nausea and pain which often results from advanced forms of prostate cancer.  However there are some newer forms of prostate cancer chemotherapy which utilize drugs which do a better job of only attacking the cancer cells and not the healthy unaffected cells.  This therefore makes it possible to utilize this course of treatment for earlier stage prostate cancer much more effectively and with fewer side effects.  

And prostate cancer chemotherapy has been used successfully to improve the effectiveness of hormone therapy.  Hormone therapy can be very effective in slowly the progression of the disease or even reversing it.  However it does not last for a long period of time and the progression resumes at some point.  The use of prostate cancer chemotherapy helps to extend the effectiveness of this hormone therapy and is therefore a popular addition. 

The commonly used drugs for prostate cancer chemotherapy include types which destroy the cancer either by affecting the nuclei of the cell or by disrupting the ability of the cells to divide and grow.  Drugs like mitozantrone, doxorubicin, vinblastine, and paclitaxel are often used with varying degrees of success.  But for the right application, this type of treatment can help to alleviate symptoms and provide a better quality of life for the sufferers of this disease.