What Are the Treatments for Advanced Prostate Cancer?
by Diane DiPersio
Advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has spread outside the prostate to adjacent tissue or distant organs. The goal of treatment for advanced prostate cancer is not to cure the cancer, but to extend and improve the quality of life.
It is not uncommon for advanced prostate cancer to present no symptoms at all. However, possible symptoms include blood in urine, blood in semen, swollen legs, pelvic pain, bone pain and fractures, and spinal compressions.
The most common treatments for advanced prostate cancer include external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), androgen deprivation or hormone therapy (ADT), and chemotherapy.
EBRT is used in combination with hormone therapy for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. Radiation beams are directed at the cancer site to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors and to control the spread of the cancer.
ADT or hormone therapy uses drugs to deprive the cancer of the hormone testosterone by blocking its production. Hormone deprivation starves the cancer in an effort to prevent growth and spreading. Surgical removal of the testicles also achieves this.
Chemotherapy is used in combination with other treatments, when those treatments alone are ineffective, to further inhibit the growth and spread of the cancer.