The prostate is located in front of the men’s rectum, just under the bladder. It is an exocrine gland that is shaped like an almond and helps produce the seminal fluid that transports the semen. It plays a very important role in the male reproductive system. When the prostate cells multiply and grow abnormally, it results in prostate cancer. It progresses very slowly, and many men do not even experience any symptoms till they have reached their old age.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects men. It is important to get screening tests done regularly as this disease can progress slowly without being detected and may cause serious problems in advanced stages. Early detection can help in successful treatment of this condition. A person detected with prostate cancer is treated with prescribed cancer therapies using different drugs and medications. Given here are some popularly used drugs and medications for prostate cancer treatment.
Drugs And Medications To Treat Prostate Cancer
Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone (LH-RH) antagonists are medications that inhibit the production of testosterone, the male hormone. This is necessary as lowering the levels of this male hormone can help prevent the formation of cancerous cells.
Antagonists work faster than agonists in reducing testosterone levels. Degarelix (Firmagon) is a commonly used drug that is given as an injection every month to men with advanced prostate cancer.
These are medications that are used in hormone therapy to prevent signals to produce testosterone from reaching the testicles. LH-RH agonists cause flare ups as compared to LH-RH antagonists and work slowly.
These medications are given at early stages of prostate cancer. Some of the commonly used drugs for this type of hormone therapy are Leuprolide, Triptorelin, Goserelin and Histrelin.
These medications are used to treat prostate cancer as they can help prevent testosterone, the male hormone, from reaching the cancerous cells. This helps prevent further multiplication of the cancer cells.
Some of the commonly used drugs, that are anti-androgens, are Bicalutamide, Nilutamide and Flutamide. These drugs are taken as pills and have to be taken just before you take an LH-RH agonist, or along with it.
CYP17 inhibitors are medications that block an enzyme called CYP17 which helps prevent the production of certain hormones by the cells in the body, including the prostate cancer cells. This can help prevent the growth of cancer cells in the prostate gland.
A commonly used drug Abiraterone (Zytiga) helps block CYP17 and is usually used along with prednisone before chemotherapy. This is to be taken as a pill daily as prescribed by the specialist.
Chemotherapy may be advised for men whose prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body and hormone therapy is not working in their case. Many chemotherapy drugs are used to treat prostate cancer.
Some of the commonly used chemotherapy drugs are Docetaxel, Mitoxantrone, Cabazitaxel, etc. These drugs can be taken in pill form, administered intravenously, or both methods can be used at the same time. Chemotherapy has many side effects which vary from person to person.