A look at Metastatic Prostate Cancer treatment options
If a cancer has spread from the prostate into the bones or lymph nodes it is referred to as metastatic prostate cancer. This advanced form of cancer requires treatment by hormonal methods.
There are three main options for treating metastasis prostate cancer through hormonal methods; all of them involve inhibiting the role of testosterone. This is the hormone that is responsible for prostate growth and regulation. If testosterone is removed from the bodies system then the theory is that the cancerous prostate cells will no longer be stimulated to grow.
Treatment of Metastatic Prostate Cancer by Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone (LHRH)
One of the hormonal methods to treat metastatic prostate cancer is to have injections of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (commonly referred to as LHRH). The LHRH acts by blocking secretion of testosterone. Injections are usually given either monthly or quarterly; this will depend on the individual persons needs.
A second commonly used method of treating metastatic prostate is to supplement LHRH with anti-androgen. This hormone acts to block the prostates receptors for testosterone, and hence limit its ability to act as a signalling hormone. The anti-androgen supplements are usually taken orally in tablet form.
Treatment of Metastatic Prostate Cancer by Orchiectomy
Orchiectomy involves the removal of the testicles by surgery. As most of the bodies testosterone is produced in the testicles, it stands to reason that their removal will prevent the hormones ability to stimulate growth of the prostate and therefore may lead to an increase of metastatic prostate cancer survival rates. Visit this page for information on orchiectomy.
Problems with hormonal treatments for metastatic prostate cancer
Sometimes when a patient is being treated for metastatic prostate cancer PSA levels will continue to raise, or he will feel pain in the bones; if this is the case then it is usually necessary to stop anti-androgen treatment.
As always when receiving any form of medication do not be afraid of asking your doctor a question. He/She will be used to questions that you may feel are embarrassing, and able to offer guidance on the matter.