A number of recent studies have shown that a combination of docetaxel chemotherapy and androgen-deprivation therapy can help men enjoy a greater survivability rate when metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer is diagnosed. Concerns, however, have been raised about the quality of life men experience when this life-extending combination treatment is used to battle cancer. Concerns are especially high in regard to the use of the chemotherapy drug, but a new study is indicating the benefits may very well far outweigh the potential pitfalls.
Researchers have found that men treated with docetaxel do, of course, experience standard side effects of chemotherapy. These side effects may temporarily reduce quality of life, but overall the study found that the impacts are fleeting. At the six month mark, most patients in the recent study reported feeling mostly back to normal. By a year out, men in the study actually reported a quality of life that was higher than those who received androgen-deprivation therapy alone.
The use of combination treatments in more advanced cases of prostate cancer is becoming more widely accepted. While androgen therapy alone can help extend a man’s life, even in the face of metastatic disease, its benefits tend to only be effective for a time. The addition of chemotherapy treatments helps attack the cancer more head-on and can pave the way for more positive outcomes, researchers have found.
An estimated 200,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. While the disease is often considered highly treatable in its less advanced stages, metastatic cases may pose greater challenges. This is why it is strongly urged that all men age 50 and over speak with their healthcare providers about early screening. Men who are at higher risk for prostate cancer may find that early screening protocols should begin sooner in their cases. The best form of treatment should cancer be diagnosed will depend on the case in question.