Living with Prostate Cancer
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The term "chemotherapy" refers to any type of therapy that uses chemicals to kill or halt the growth of cancer cells. The drugs work in a variety of ways, but are all based on the same simple principle: stop the cells from dividing and you stop the growth and spread of the tumor.
Until recently, chemotherapy was used only to relieve symptoms associated with very advanced or metastatic disease. With the publication of two studies in 2004 showing that the use of docetaxel (Taxotere) can prolong the lives of men with prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy, more and more doctors are recognizing the potential benefits of chemotherapy for the men they treat with advanced prostate cancer.
Building on these successes, there are now dozens of clinical trials studying various combinations of chemotherapy drugs, some using new mixes of older drugs and some using newer drugs. Some trials are looking to find a chemotherapy regimen that’s more tolerable or more effective than docetaxel in men with metastatic disease, others are looking to find a chemotherapy regimen that can delay the onset of metastases, and still others are seeking to improve upon the results with docetaxel by adding to it other novel agents and testing the combination.
In addition, several agents are approved or widely available for use in prostate cancer, including estramustine and mitoxantrone. Estramustine (Emcyt) is an oral medication with hormonal and chemotherapeutic properties that has anti-cancer activity, and can be safely combined with other chemotherapies. Mitoxantrone (Novatrone) is a chemotherapy agent given intravenously every three weeks and is known to delay and reduce pain from prostate cancer metastasis from earlier studies. It remains an effective weapon against prostate cancer. However, it does have a risk of congestive heart failure which limits its use to generally under 10 cycles, and regular heart monitoring is necessary.
Paramount in all researchers’ minds is a way to maximize benefit while minimizing side effects. Chemotherapy, like all powerful drugs, can take a toll on the body. A review of how to best manage the side effects of chemotherapy can be found in the Side Effects section.
Mobile Commons, Sanofi US, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Phase Five Partner to improve patient understanding and experiences with the new PROST8CARE™ Text Messaging Program.
PROST8CARE Provides Free Guidance and Support, with Timed Text Messages that Coincide with Each Patient’s Chemotherapy Cycle
Patient: Text “Prostate” to PROST8 (776788)
Caregiver: Text “Care” to PROST8 (776788)
Patients/Caregivers click here to learn more—This brochure provides the patient and caregiver with an overview of Prost8Care. Simple instructions on how to sign up are included along with the request for the unique patient treatment cycle information to ensure they begin the program at the appropriate starting point. The brochure also gives the patient a sense of what types of text messages they will receive and how often they can expect to see them.
Healthcare professionals click here to learn more—This brochure is designed for healthcare professionals and explains the benefits of Prost8Care. It encourages oncologists and oncology nurses to recommend Prost8Care to patients by providing an explanation of how the program could be a support tool for them throughout their chemotherapy treatment cycle. The brochure reinforces that the patient will be directed to their caregiver for specific symptom management advice. Instructions on how to enroll are also included.
For the latest information about chemotherapy for patients, families, caregivers and friends, please visit Chemocare.com.