There are very few people who don’t immediately panic when they hear that they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Am I going to die, most wonder, even if they don’t voice that fear to their friends and family. Many patients have a similar reaction when their doctor suggests chemotherapy. But just as cancer itself is not always a death sentence, chemotherapy is not as bad as most think.
Chemotherapy for prostate cancer today is not your grandfather’s chemo. Most side effects are manageable and don’t stop men from going about their daily lives. And studies suggest that using chemotherapy earlier and not waiting until your disease has progressed has tangible benefits.
This month we take a deep dive into chemotherapy today.
Dr. Ken Pienta frames this month’s discussions and points out that the cultural view of chemotherapy as catastrophic to the patient is largely unfounded.
Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang outlines the history of chemotherapy for prostate cancer and muses about future directions.
Dr. William Oh explains the role chemotherapy plays in a prostate cancer treatment today.
Dr. Cy Stein talks about side effects associated with Taxotere (docetaxel) and Jevtana (cabazitaxel) and how to manage them.
Dr. Oliver Sartor explains the development of Jevtana (cabazitaxel) for prostate cancer.
Dr. Emmanuel Antonarakis talks about the potential impact of switching from Taxotere (docetaxel) to Jevtana (cabazitaxel) midway through treatment and vice versa.
Dr. Channing Paller introduces her clinical trial looking at combining Taxotere (Docetaxel) with intravenous Vitamin C. She’s recruiting patients, so if you think you might be a fit for the trial, be sure to contact her.
Finally, both Mark Slaughter from Us Too! and Bill R. tell us about their experiences with chemotherapy for prostate cancer and their advice for men in similar situations.
The bottom line is that, if you’ve been prescribed either Taxotere (docetaxel) or Jevtana (cabazitaxel) for prostate cancer, there is no need to panic. Both drugs can have a dramatic impact on your survival, and their side effects can be managed with a little forethought and careful monitoring. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. Reach out to other men with prostate cancer who’ve had either of these medications. As with anything in life, the more you know going into the experience, the easier of a time you’ll have. Many times we fear the unfamiliar.
And, as always, be sure to share this issue of Prostatepedia with your doctor. Use these conversations as a jumping off point for an honest discussion. She may agree or disagree with some of the points made in the interviews that follow. Talking about why she is taking a certain approach with your disease will help you feel more comfortable with any decision that the two of you agree upon.
There has never been a better time to be a prostate cancer patient, friends. Your doctor has many tools in her wheelhouse to fight your cancer.