Prostate chemotherapy uses drugs to halt the growth of cancer, either by killing the cancer cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be more effective at controlling metastatic prostate cancer as an initial treatment, rather than when the cancer has become resistant to hormone therapy.
Prostate chemotherapy drugs for prostate cancer are typically given into a vein (IV) as an infusion over a period of several hours. This can be done in a doctor’s office, chemotherapy clinic, or in a hospital setting. Some drugs are given as a pill.
Prostate chemotherapy is given in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a rest period to give you time to recover from the effects of the drugs. Cycles are most often two or three weeks long.
The length of treatment for advanced prostate cancer is based on how well it is working and what side effects you have.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancerous cells. Specific treatment for prostate cancer will be determined by your surgeon based on:
- your age, overall health, and medical history
- stage of the cancer
- your tolerance for specific medications and procedures
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
What are the side effects of prostate chemotherapy?
As each patient’s individual medical profile and diagnosis is different, so is his reaction to treatment. Side effects may be severe, mild, or absent. Be sure to discuss with your cancer care team any/all possible side effects of treatment before the treatment begins.
Most side effects of prostate chemotherapy disappear once treatment is completed. Common side effects of chemotherapy depend on the drug used, the dosage, and the length of treatment, and may include the following:
- nausea and vomiting
- hair loss
- reduced ability of blood to clot
- mouth sores
- increased likelihood of infection
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.