I was meaning to post something on this topic many times in the past and this article really hit the target
Men With Metastatic Prostate Cancer: It’s Not Just Quantity Of Life That Matters, But Quality Of Life
RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in Canadian men, and one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the world.
Men With Metastatic Prostate Cancer It s Not Just Quantity Of Life That Matters But Quality Of Life
Dr. Tony Finelli
Dr. Tony Finelli
Head, Division of Urology, University Health Network
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in Canadian men, and one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the world. While many prostate cancers are low-risk and do not progress into life-threatening illnesses, thousands of Canadian men still die each year as a result of their prostate cancer becoming metastatic and spreading to other parts of their bodies. For these men, new treatment options can provide not only priceless life extension but also a higher quality of life during treatment.
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is the categorization given to prostate cancers that have metastasized and do not respond to traditional castration (testosterone depletion) therapies. It is usually terminal but, if anything, this only increases the importance of effective treatment, particularly when the treatment can be easily integrated into a full and active lifestyle. In the past five years, two new oral targeted therapies have been supplementing and supplanting existing treatments to substantial benefit for mCRPC patients. “Before these targeted therapies were available to us, we really only had traditional chemotherapy as a treatment option for men who became castration resistant,” says Dr. Tony Finelli, Head of the Division of Urology at the University Health Network. “We now reside in an era with this next generation of androgen receptor axis-targeted agents that provide superior cancer control with less toxicity and fewer side effects.”
The convenience factor
Unlike chemotherapy, these drugs are pills that can be taken without medical supervision, providing valuable freedom and autonomy for those in treatment. “From a convenience perspective, it’s significant that this is an oral therapy taken at home, only requiring a monthly visit for assessment,” says Dr. Finelli. “It improves patients’ quality of life to the point where they are able to do activities they weren’t before.”
The drugs function by making testosterone, the fuel that prostate cancer feeds on, less available to the cells. This is especially important in castration-resistant cancers that continue to thrive even after the body’s supply of testosterone has been reduced. “These drugs are more effective than anything else we’ve ever seen at blocking prostate cancer’s access to testosterone,” says Dr. Finelli. “Prostate cancer’s primary growth factor is testosterone and testosterone derivatives (androgens). Traditional castration therapies diminish the body’s ability to produce testosterone. What these new drugs both do, in slightly different ways, is to further limit the intracellular level of testosterone.”
More good days than bad ones
Of particular importance for patients is the fact that, in addition to the convenience of taking them at home, these new therapies have a greatly reduced side effect profile compared to chemotherapy. This allows men to have more good days than bad ones, and thus to spend more time doing the things important to them. “These drugs clearly delay progression of the disease. They improve quality of life in these patients and all around diminish morbidity. There are a lot of wins with these drugs,” says Dr. Finelli. “That’s not to say that these new agents don’t have side effects, but it’s a different profile and severity. Although these newer therapies can still be associated with fatigue, people generally don’t experience the systemic side effects of traditional chemotherapy.”
For men with mCRPC, this is the thing they want most. They’re concerned about
quantity of life, but for most, it is quality of life that is paramount. They want therapies that not only keep them alive but also let them live their lives the way they want. Thankfully, with these new therapies, and as additional new treatment innovations continue to be developed, more and more men are achieving this goal.
Link to article:www.personalhealthnews.ca/research-and-innovations/men-with-metastatic-prostate-cancer-its-not-just-quantity-of-life-that-matters-but-quality-of-life?utm_source=keywee&utm_medium=paid&kwp_0=449991&kwp_4=1649486&kwp_1=709435