Even in this modern world of technological advancement and medical technology, we are still faced by diseases that are life-threatening. For one, cancer is considered one of the most serious causes of death around the world. Prostate cancer is one of those diseases feared by men. This type of cancer is common among men since the cancer cells affect the prostate gland found in men. It is a male reproductive gland that is responsible for the storage of seminal fluid which nourishes the sperm. The growth of the cancer cells in the prostate gland causes several mild to serious symptoms which are usually painful and can disrupt the daily routine of the man.
Like other types of cancer, prostate cancer has also stages which are categorized from Stage I – IV. As we see, Stage IV prostate cancer is the last stage and in a layman’s term, it is difficult to cure if not incurable. The stage of cancer is determined by how far the cancer cells have spread given that the cancer cells just first grow the prostate gland. Once it spreads to the nearby parts of the body, the stage increases. In Stage IV prostate cancer, the tumor has already spread to the pelvic lymph nodes and even the lymph nodes outside the pelvic area. Although this is difficult to cure, with some effective treatments, patients can live longer than expected.
Stage IV prostate cancer treatments are undeniably costly but they are worth it especially when a life of the person is at stake. Doctors, at first, recommend the Androgen Derivation Therapy (ADT) which is a treatment that decreases the level of androgen which is commonly testosterone to decrease the size of prostate cancer. The treatments includes taking medicines that primarily block the testicles from producing male hormones and a surgery called orchiectomy which is the removal of the testicles for the same purpose mentioned.
However, this kind of treatment only lasts for two to three years before the cancer comes back. This is the stage when the cancer is androgen-resistant making the ADT alone ineffective. The doctor then tries another kind of antiandrogen but some doctors also opt for radiation therapy which we commonly know as the chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells through radiation. To effectively treat cancer, oncologists recommend the combination of the hormonal and radiation therapy.
Being in Stage IV prostate cancer might be hard for the patient and for the family members as well because it seems incurable. Making the patient’s life comfortable, loved and cared are the best ways to divert the patient’s attention from his disease. Treating him like a normal person but with extra care would make him feel that his life is also worthwhile. Never forget to go out to get some vitamin D in the morning, do some light physical activities and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. On top of it all, life may be short but learn to make the most out of it.