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 Surgical Procedures Are Used To Treat Prostate Cancer
Two main procedures are used in the treatment of prostate cancer:
- Radical prostatectomy
- Transurethral resection of the prostate
A prostatectomy is a procedure to remove the prostate gland. This is performed to cure the prostate cancer.
During a transurethral resection of the prostate, the surgeon does not take out the entire prostate, but instead removes a portion of prostate tissue. Patients might undergo this procedure as part of a broader treatment program.
Read more about prostate cancer surgery at Siteman.
Treating Prostate Cancer That Doesnt Go Away Or Comes Back After Treatment
If your prostate-specific antigen blood level shows that your prostate cancer has not been cured or has come back after the initial treatment, further treatment can often still be helpful. Follow-up treatment will depend on where the cancer is thought to be and what treatment youve already had. Imaging tests such as CT, MRI, or bone scans may be done to get a better idea about where the cancer is.
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Coping With Prostate Cancer
The diagnosis of cancer can cause great anxiety to the individual and his family and friends. At times, one may have troubles coping with the diagnosis, the disease, and its treatment. Searching online for information may prove overwhelming also and may not be the best resource. Ask your physician or local hospital about local resources. Often, there are local prostate cancer support groups which may help you cope with your feelings and provide local resources for more knowledge.
You may consider contacting one or more of the following organizations:
- US Prostate Cancer Foundation,
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ,
- American Cancer Society, and
- Patient Advocates for Advanced Cancer Treatment.
The Internet has provided access to a number of sites focusing on prostate cancer treatment and outcomes. The National Cancer Institute and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network have patient information, as well as the American Urological Association.
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New Treatment Approved For Late
- By Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases
In late March, the FDA approved a new therapy for advanced prostate cancer that is metastasizing, or spreading, in the body. Called Pluvicto , and delivered by intravenous infusion, the treatment can seek out and destroy tumors that are still too small to see with conventional types of medical imaging.
Pluvicto is approved specifically for men who have already been treated with other anticancer therapies, including chemotherapy and hormonal therapies that block the tumor-promoting hormone testosterone. The drug contains two parts: one that binds to a protein on prostate cancer cell surfaces called PSMA, and a radioactive particle that kills the cancer cells. Most normal cells do not contain PSMA, or do only at very low levels. This allows Pluvicto to attack tumors while sparing healthy tissues.
To confirm whether a man is eligible for the drug, doctors first inject a radioactive tracer that travels the bloodstream looking for and then sticking to PSMA proteins. Cancer cells flagged by the tracer will show up on a specialized scanning technology called positron-emission tomography. About 80% of prostate cancer patients have PSMA-positive tumors for those who do not, the treatment is ineffective.
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How Prostate Cancer Staging Is Done
Initial staging is based on the results of PSA blood tests, biopsies, and imaging tests. This is also called clinical staging.
PSA refers to a protein made by the prostate measured by a lab test.
- A higher level of PSA can indicate a more advanced cancer.
- The doctors will also look at how fast the PSA levels have been increasing from test to test. A faster increase could show a more aggressive tumor.
A prostate biopsy is done in your doctor’s office. The results can indicate:
- How much of the prostate is involved.
- The Gleason score. A number from 2 to 10 that shows how closely the cancer cells look like normal cells when viewed under a microscope. Scores 6 or less suggest the cancer is slow growing and not aggressive. Higher numbers indicate a faster growing cancer that is more likely to spread.
Bladder Cancer And Its Stages
Bladder cancer is a disease that can have varying symptoms and severity according to its stage. The estimated life expectancy of people who are diagnosed with bladder cancer is dependent on their condition and treatment.
The stages of bladder cancer have different levels of effects to the patient. Although living with bladder cancer can be difficult and challenging, do not lose hope as some of the stages of bladder cancer can be treated.
If people with bladder cancer receive treatment early on the first stage of cancer, the symptoms can be neutralized. The stages of bladder cancer usually depend on the formation of cancer in other parts of the body. If the first stage is managed early, the spread of cancer can be stopped.
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Should I Make Any Lifestyle Changes Including In My Diet Or Physical Activity
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active, can help your overall health. These lifestyle changes can also have a positive effect for men with bone metastases, Tagawa says. Both diet and exercise, he says, are things that are under a mans direct control.
A healthy lifestyle can help you better manage side effects from treatment as well. Try setting small but realistic goals for yourself when it comes to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.
While no single food is likely to have a benefit for prostate cancer, smart food choices may help you feel better day to day. Start by cutting out foods high in sugar, saturated fat, and added flavorings and preservatives.
If youre not sure which healthy foods to choose, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. This specialist can help you develop a meal plan that includes foods that offer the best chance of slowing the cancers growth and keeping you as healthy as possible.
As an oncologist, Tagawa says he concentrates on treating the cancer itself, but hes aware that many of the men he sees with advanced prostate cancer are older and more likely than younger men to have health problems that can benefit from diet and exercise.
And if youre on hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about investing in some weights or elastic resistance bands to support your bone strength too.
Remission And The Chance Of Recurrence
A remission is when cancer cannot be detected in the body and there are no symptoms. This may also be called having no evidence of disease or NED.
A remission can be temporary or permanent. This uncertainty causes many people to worry that the cancer will come back. Although there are treatments to help prevent a recurrence, such as hormonal therapy and radiation therapy, it is important to talk with your doctor about the possibility of the cancer returning. There are tools your doctor can use, called nomograms, to estimate someone’s risk of recurrence. Understanding your risk of recurrence and the treatment options may help you feel more prepared if the cancer does return. Learn more about coping with the fear of recurrence.
In general, following surgery or radiation therapy, the PSA level in the blood usually drops. If the PSA level starts to rise again, it may be a sign that the cancer has come back. If the cancer returns after the original treatment, it is called recurrent cancer.
When this occurs, a new cycle of testing will begin again to learn as much as possible about the recurrence, including where the recurrence is located. The cancer may come back in the prostate , in the tissues or lymph nodes near the prostate , or in another part of the body, such as the bones, lungs, or liver . Sometimes the doctor cannot find a tumor even though the PSA level has increased. This is known as a PSA recurrence or biochemical recurrence.
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Can Diet Help Fight Prostate Cancer
Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer? That’s a question men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer often ask their doctors.
Several studies have shown that in countries where men eat a typical “Western” diet containing a large amount of meat, the incidence of prostate cancer, especially aggressive prostate cancer, is higher than in countries where plant-based foods are a primary part of the diet. Unfortunately, these studies weren’t designed to prove cause and effect. So for now, definitive answers about prostate cancer and diet aren’t yet in although researchers are actively studying this topic.
Investigators launched a federally funded national study to see whether a diet that’s higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods than the typical Western diet would help control tumor growth in men with early-stage prostate cancer.
The Men’s Eating and Living study included men 50-80 years old who had small, low-grade tumors and who opted to have their condition followed closely rather than undergoing immediate treatment. The researchers randomly assigned participants to telephone counseling about how to achieve the dietary MEAL goals or to a control group that received standard dietary advice for Americans.
Here’s what the MEAL eating plan looks like:
What Happens When Prostate Cancer Is Left Untreated
While most men undergo some form of treatment for their prostate cancer, some men today choose to not be treated for their prostate cancer. Instead, they may choose to have their healthcare providers monitor their cancer.
Known as active surveillance, it is common when the cancer is expected to grow slowly based on biopsy results, confined to the prostate, not causing any symptoms, and/or small. In active surveillance, healthcare providers will initiate cancer treatment only if cancer starts growing.
Others men may choose to not undergo cancer treatment because of a short life expectancy or other serious medical problems. They may feel that the risks or side effects of cancer treatment outweigh their potential benefits.
This option is certainly OK and reasonable in the right circumstancesrequiring a careful and thoughtful discussion with your healthcare provider and family.
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Antiandrogens For Prostate Cancer
These prostate cancer drugs work by blocking the effect of testosterone in the body. Antiandrogens are sometimes used in addition to orchiectomy or LHRH analogs.This is due to the fact that the other forms of hormone therapy remove about 90% of testosterone circulating in the body. Antiandrogens may help block the remaining 10% of circulating testosterone. Using antiandrogens with another form of hormone therapy is called combined androgen blockade , or total androgen ablation. Antiandrogens may also be used to combat the symptoms of flare . Some doctors prescribe antiandrogens alone rather than with orchiectomy or LHRH analogs.
Available antiandrogens include abiraterone acetate , apalutamide ,Ã biclutamide , darolutamide ,Ã enzalutamide , flutamide , and nilutamide . Patients take antiandrogens as pills. Diarrhea is the primary side effect when antiandrogens are used as part of combination therapy. Less likely side effects include nausea, liver problems, and fatigue. When antiandrogens are used alone they may cause a reduction in sex drive and impotence.
There Are Different Types Of Treatment For Patients With Prostate Cancer
Different types of treatment are available for patients withprostate cancer. Some treatments are standard , and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.
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What Else Should You Consider
Remember, you have options, and itâs important to choose the one that works best for you. When choosing a treatment, think about:
- The risks. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of each type of therapy.
- The side effects. Consider whether or not youâre willing to deal with how the treatment might make you feel.
- Whether or not you need it. Not all men with prostate cancer need to be treated right away.
- Your age and overall health. For older men or those with other serious health conditions, treatment may be less appealing than watchful waiting.
American Cancer Society: âCan Prostate Cancer be Found Early?â âConsidering Prostate Cancer Treatment Options,â âHormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer,â âHow is Prostate Cancer Treated,â âProstate Cancer,â âWhat is Prostate Cancer?â âCryotherapy for Prostate Cancer,â âRadiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer,â âSurgery for Prostate Cancer,â âVaccine Treatment for Prostate Cancer.â
National Cancer Institute: âProstate Cancer Treatment.â
Prostate Cancer Foundation: âOther Treatment Options,â âProstatectomy ,â âRadiation Therapy,â âSide Effects,â âTreatment Options.â
UpToDate: âBone metastases in advanced prostate cancer: Management.â
Cancer.Net: âProstate Cancer: Types of Treatment.â
Chances Of Developing Metastatic Prostate Cancer
About 50% of men diagnosed with local prostate cancer will get metastatic cancer during their lifetime. Finding cancer early and treating it can lower that rate.
A small percentage of men arent diagnosed with prostate cancer until it has become metastatic. Doctors can find out if its metastatic cancer when they take a small sample of the tissue and study the cells.
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Combination Radiation And Endocrine Therapy
Sometimes, patients receive hormone therapy in combination with external beam radiation therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. This treatment uses a high-energy X-ray machine to direct radiation to the prostate tumor. For patients with intermediate or high risk prostate cancer, studies show this combination is more effective at slowing the disease than endocrine therapy or radiation therapy alone.
Radiation can also come in the form of a monthly intravenous drug called Xofigo. Xofigo is approved for use in men who have advanced prostate cancer that has spread only to the bones. Candidates should have also received therapy designed to lower testosterone. The drug works by binding to minerals within bones to deliver radiation directly to bone tumors. A study of 809 men showed that those taking Xofigo lived an average of 3 months longer than those taking a placebo.
Two other similar drugs are strontium-89 and samarium-153 .
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Survival For All Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Generally for men with prostate cancer in England:
- more than 95 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 1 year or more
- more than 85 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 5 years or more
- almost 80 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 10 years or more
Survival of prostate cancer is also reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But it is difficult to compare survival between these countries because of differences in the way the information is collected.
Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019Office for National Statistics
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account the background mortality that they would have experienced if they had not had cancer.
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Physical Emotional And Social Effects Of Cancer
Cancer and its treatment cause physical symptoms and side effects, as well as emotional, social, and financial effects. Managing all of these effects is called palliative care or supportive care. It is an important part of your care that is included along with treatments intended to slow, stop, or eliminate the cancer.
Palliative care focuses on improving how you feel during treatment by managing symptoms and supporting patients and their families with other, non-medical needs. Any person, regardless of age or type and stage of cancer, may receive this type of care. And it often works best when it is started right after a cancer diagnosis. People who receive palliative care along with treatment for the cancer often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life, and report that they are more satisfied with treatment.
Palliative treatments vary widely and often include medication, nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, emotional and spiritual support, and other therapies. You may also receive palliative treatments similar to those meant to get rid of the cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy.
Learn more about the importance of tracking side effects in another part of this guide. Learn more about palliative care in a separate section of this website.
Eight Types Of Standard Treatment Are Used:
Watchful waiting or active surveillance
Watchful waiting and active surveillance are treatments used for older men who do not have signs or symptoms or have other medical conditions and for men whose prostate cancer is found during a screening test.
Watchful waiting is closely monitoring a patients condition without giving any treatment until signs or symptoms appear or change. Treatment is given to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Active surveillance is closely following a patient’s condition without giving any treatment unless there are changes in test results. It is used to find early signs that the condition is getting worse. In active surveillance, patients are given certain exams and tests, including digital rectal exam, PSA test, transrectal ultrasound, and transrectal needle biopsy, to check if the cancer is growing. When the cancer begins to grow, treatment is given to cure the cancer.
Other terms that are used to describe not giving treatment to cure prostate cancer right after diagnosis are observation, watch and wait, and expectant management.
Patients in good health whose tumor is in the prostategland only may be treated with surgery to remove the tumor. The following types of surgery are used:
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