Prostate cancer is a serious disease commonly found in men. It is more common among men who are aged above 50.
Once diagnosed with the condition, the victim immediately starts searching for therapies to overcome it. To win
the battle over prostate cancer, several therapeutic methods are usually used: surgery, radiation therapy,
hormonal therapy, combination of hormonal and radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The question now is how
prostate cancer chemotherapy works, or what it involves?
What is chemotherapy?
It is obvious from the
name that chemotherapy is the fact of using strong pharmaceutical or curative chemicals to kill the cancer cells
in the entire organism. Normally, chemotherapy aims at killing cells that reproduce rapidly which is the main
characteristic of cancer cells, cancerous cells spilt and divide faster than normal cells, they do not die
within the normal cycle in a process called apoptosis or
programmed cell death. Natural or programmed Cell death is crucial for
normal human development and
healthy living. So, chemotherapy kills those cancer cells that
refuse to die naturally (apoptosis). That may sound good, but the therapy has its
drawback. A major disadvantage of chemotherapy is that it not only kills the cancer cells but also healthy ones
that grow and divide rapidly: cells of skin, bone marrow, hair follicles and lining of the digestive system for
How Prostate Cancer Chemotherapy
treatment specific drugs are involved to realign and impair the growth of the cells in the prostate gland. These
are anti cancer drugs commonly known as cytotoxic drugs or chemotherapy drugs. They target the cancer cells
first as they have the tendency to spread faster. The chemical compounds works only over those cells and tumors
in prostate that grow fast. The efficacy of the therapy depends greatly on the stage of the tumor at diagnosis.
Chemotherapy works well
when it is used for treating early stages prostate cancer. It might not work effectively in advanced stages or
metastatic prostate cancer. When chemotherapy is given during early stage of the disease, it completely destroys
the malignant cells in the prostate cancer and their ability to reproduce. In fact, it is very easy to cure the
patient with the help of chemotherapy if the person is in the stage T1 and T2. In these two
stages, cancer cells are just within the prostate
gland and have not proliferated to other organs.
will be helpful to prostate cancer patients in the following ways:
Chemotherapy can be
administered to patients in two ways. The first method is intravenous where medicines are given through veins.
The second method is the oral intake of medicines. Sometimes, for better results, chemotherapy medications are
given through both ways. Several blood tests are done before and after chemotherapy in order to know how
patient’s body is responding to the treatment.
Limitations of chemotherapy
According to the medical
facts, chemotherapy does not make difference between healthy cells and malignant cells. This explains why the
therapy causes so serious side effects. In fact, sometimes weak patients die from the therapy instead of the
cancer itself. Sometimes the core of the tumor cannot be affected by the chemicals. This explains why
chemotherapy is not always successful in treating prostate cancer. In
addition, there are remote chances of the cancer cells to multiply faster after the chemotherapy is done. In
such cases the doctors immediately opt for other therapies or treatments.