Prostate Cancer Drug For Baldness 10 Double
Widely known for one effect, these 10 drugs have surprising hidden uses.
July 9, 2009& #151 — Medical advances can be slow — a fact frustrating to some who want the “latest and greatest” cure for their ailment, and don’t want to wait out the testing process.
But once a drug has been approved for one use, doctors can prescribe it “off-label” when it is shown to be useful for something else. And an increasing number of drugs are prescribed in this manner. Off-label use of medicines accounts for about one-fifth of all prescriptions, according to a study released last April in the New England Journal of Medicine.
And so we have a skin cancer cream used to smooth out your facial wrinkles, Viagra to help avoid an amputation, a baldness drug to protect against prostate cancer, and now a drug for enlarged prostate and possibly prostate cancer that may stop baldness.
Many of these off-label uses meet with controversy and questions about their value, particularly since the FDA has not yet approved the uses.
Though the hair loss drug finasteride is recommended by some medical organizations as a preventative measure against prostate cancer, many doctors say that such a use is inefficient and ill-advised.
In the case of Viagra, which was administered to at least one patient to stimulate blood flow and help prevent amputation, no conclusive studies yet exist that confirm a definite benefit when used in patients at risk of amputation.
Short Term Side Effects
Patients who receive any type of radiation therapy to treat their prostate cancer can have side effects. Short term side effects are ones that start during or shortly after your radiation treatment. Below is a list of possible short term side effects. Treatments can affect each patient differently, and you may not have these particular side effects. Talk with your care team about what you can expect from your treatment
What Causes Prostate Cancer
It is not known yet what causes prostate cancer, however, there are some factors that may increase the risk for prostate cancer such as:
1. Age. According to the data from the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry in the US, more than 95% of prostate cancer cases were diagnosed in men age over 45. Although there have been some prostate cancer cases in younger men in their twenties and thirties, it seems that the risk for prostate cancer is increased with age.
2. Studies suggest that men who are overweight have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
3. Ongoing studies seem to show that a calcium-rich diet increases the risk for prostate cancer.
4. Men of African descent are more likely to suffer from prostate cancer than other ethnic groups.
5. Men who have a father or brother who suffers from prostate cancer at the age below 60 or a mother or sister who suffers from breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
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How Long Do Side Effects Last
Remember that the type of radiation side effects you might have depends on the prescribed dose and schedule. Most side effects go away within a few months of ending treatment. Some side effects may continue after treatment ends because it takes time for the healthy cells to recover from radiation.
Side effects might limit your ability to do some things. What you can do will depend on how you feel. Some patients are able to go to work or enjoy leisure activities while they get radiation therapy. Others find they need more rest than usual and cant do as much. If you have side effects that are bothersome and affecting your daily activities or health, the doctor may stop your treatments for a while, change the schedule, or change the type of treatment youre getting. Tell your cancer care team about any side affects you notice so they can help you with them.
Early And Late Effects Of Radiation Therapy
- Early side effects happen during or shortly after treatment. These side effects tend to be short-term, mild, and treatable. Theyre usually gone within a few weeks after treatment ends. The most common early side effects are fatigue and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area.
- Late side effects can take months or even years to develop. They can occur in any normal tissue in the body that has received radiation. The risk of late side effects depends on the area treated as well as the radiation dose that was used. Careful treatment planning can help avoid serious long-term side effects. Its always best to talk to your radiation oncologist about the risk of long-term side effects.
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Possible Side Effects Of Chemotherapy
Chemo drugs attack cells that are dividing quickly, which is why they work against cancer cells. But other cells in the body, such as those in the bone marrow , the lining of the mouth and intestines, and the hair follicles, also divide quickly. These cells can also be affected by chemo, which can lead to side effects.
The side effects of chemo depend on the type and dose of drugs given and how long they are taken. Some common side effects can include:
These side effects usually go away once treatment is finished. There are often ways to lessen these side effects. For example, drugs can be given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.
Along with the risks above, some side effects are seen more often with certain chemo drugs. For example:
- Docetaxel and cabazitaxel sometimes cause severe allergic reactions. Medicines are given before each treatment to help prevent this. These drugs can also damage nerves , which can cause numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the hands or feet.
- Mitoxantrone can, very rarely, cause leukemia several years later.
- Estramustine carries an increased risk of blood clots.
If you notice any side effects while getting chemo report them to your cancer care team so that they can be treated promptly. In some cases, the doses of the chemo drugs may need to be reduced or treatment may need to be delayed or stopped to prevent the effects from getting worse.
How Does The Treatment Work
The prostate pill that has been found to improve hair growth is the drug bicalutamide. When used for prostate cancer treatment, the drug works by preventing testosterone from reaching cancer cells. That is because prostate cancer uses the male hormone testosterone to grow. Thus, by blocking this hormone, the growth of the tumour is slowed. Potentially, it has the power to even reduce the cancer in size..
Scientists thought the testosterone-blocking effects could be beneficial for helping to female hair growth because the hormone plays a key role in the development of the most common form of hair loss in women, androgenetic alopecia.
It is often thought that testosterone is only present in men, but women also have the hormone and it can lead to hair follicles being attacked to accelerate hair loss. Women in the post-menopause stage experience a drop in oestrogen levels allowing testosterone to become more dominant, which can lead to higher levels of hair loss.
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How Sex Might Be Affected
With some types of radiation therapy involving the pelvis and/or sex organs, men and women may notice changes in their ability to enjoy sex or a decrease in their level of desire.
For women: During radiation treatment to the pelvis, some women are told not to have sex. Some women may find sex painful. Treatment can also cause vaginal itching, burning, and dryness. You most likely will be able to have sex within a few weeks after treatment ends, but check with your doctor first. Some types of treatment can have long-term effects, such as scar tissue that could affect the ability of the vagina to stretch during sex. Again, your cancer care team can offer ways to help if this happens to you. You can also get more information in Sex and Women With Cancer.
For men: Radiation may affect the nerves that allow a man to have erections. If erection problems do occur, they are usually gradual, over the course of many months or years. Talk with your doctor about treatment options if this is a concern for you. You can get more information in Sex and Men With Cancer.
If you get internal radiation therapy with seed implants, check with your cancer care team about safety precautions during sex
Dispelling Six Myths About Prostate Cancer And Chemotherapy
Some prostate cancer patients shy away from or choose not to utilize chemotherapy. Their hesitation may result from an outdated understanding of chemotherapy side effects and its effectiveness against prostate cancer.
In this blog, lets explore the myths driven by common misperceptions about chemotherapy and find out the facts.
MYTH #1: Chemotherapy is a last resort.
Some patients believe that we use chemotherapy when we are out of options. Far from a last resort, there are currently promising studies utilizing chemotherapy earlier in the treatment of prostate cancer. For instance, in men with newly diagnosed metastatic disease, chemotherapy significantly improves survival.
MYTH #2: Chemotherapy is a single and outdated option.
Chemotherapy is not a single drug. In fact there are many chemotherapies, both oral and intravenous, and new chemotherapies are being developed and approved regularly.
In prostate cancer, there have been continuous improvements over the past few years. In the past, an older drug called mitoxantrone was approved by the FDA to relieve cancer symptoms only. Then something important happened in 2004: docetaxel chemotherapy was shown to be the first drug to improve overall survival for men with metastatic prostate cancer that became resistant to hormone treatments. This was a critical milestone, as no drugs to that point could lengthen survival. In 2010, the FDA approved another chemotherapy drug for prostate cancer called cabazitaxel.
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Risk Factors For Prostate And Testicular Disorders
While these men over 50 years old are at highest risk of developing prostate disorders and men between the ages of 20 and 54 are most at risk of developing testicular problems, age is just one of the factors that can increase a manâs risk of developing prostate and testicular disorders. Other risk factors include:
- Diet and weight â Eating a high-fat diet or being overweight or obese can increase mens testosterone levels, which in turn increases the risk of developing prostate and testicular health conditions.
- Ethnicity â African American men have a higher risk than men of other ethnicities of developing prostate disorders, and Caucasian males are most likely to develop testicular disorders.
- Family history â If a mans father or brother has suffered from a prostate or testicular disorder, he has a particularly high risk of developing the same condition.
- Testosterone levels â Men on testosterone therapy or who have naturally high levels of testosterone are more likely to develop prostate and testicular disorders.
- Other factors such as whether or not a man smokes, has contracted HIV or has undescended testicles contribute to his risk for developing testicular problems.
How Will Radiation Therapy Affect My Scalp
During radiation, your scalp may become dry, irritated, or inflamed. Initially, the area exposed to radiation will lose hair, and the scalp may look like it is severely sunburned. It may turn red or pinkish due to inflammation and will feel tender to the touch.
After two weeks of radiation therapy, the scalp can get dry and itchy. This is a temporary condition, and the scalp will recover once the radiation therapy is over. During this time, the doctor may prescribe medicines to relieve inflammation and scalp discomfort.
Apart from medication, you may take precautions to reduce scalp sensitivity during radiation.
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Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Some side effects of abiraterone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- swelling or stiffness of the joints
New Insight On Weight Gain After Prostate Cancer Therapy
Study Shows Weight Gain After Hormone Therapy May Level Off After a Year of Treatment
There are several recognized side effects associated with those therapies, including hot flashes, loss of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, bone loss, mood changes, and weight and body composition shifts. Body composition is a loss of muscle and bone mass with an increase in fat mass.
Now a new study shows that the weight gain — about 9 pounds, on average — associated with a form of hormone therapy called androgen deprivation therapy appears to level off after the first year of treatment. Itâs a finding that experts say is useful in helping doctors and patients who are trying to manage that extra girth, which studies have shown may increase the risks of diabetes and heart disease.
The studyâs researchers say the finding underscores the need for doctors to use these treatments, which include either surgical removal of the testes or drug therapy, conservatively.
âIâm using hormonal therapy a lot less than I was a few years ago because I do realize it is a very effective, albeit toxic therapy,â says study researcher Stephen J. Freedland, MD, associate professor at the Duke Prostate Center and a staff physician Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Durham, N.C.
Signs And Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Most prostate cancers are found early, through screening. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as:
- Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Trouble getting an erection
- Pain in the hips, back , chest , or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord
Most of these problems are more likely to be caused by something other than prostate cancer. For example, trouble urinating is much more often caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia , a non-cancerous growth of the prostate. Still, its important to tell your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Some men might need more tests to check for prostate cancer.
How Does Radiation Therapy Affect The Hair
Radiation therapy may disturb the growth of the hair follicles, causing hair thinning and hair loss. You may notice hair loss after three weeks of starting radiation therapy. However, the hair loss may be temporary or permanent depending on the dosage. If the dosage is low, hair loss is temporary and it may regrow within 3-6 months after the treatment ends .
The texture and volume of the new hair may be different than the pre-treatment hair. Often, the hair grows back thinner and curlier.
If the dose of radiation is high or combined with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, it may severely affect the scalp and hair follicles, minimizing hair regrowth chances. In some cases, hair loss may become permanent. Keep reading to find out what happens to your scalp during radiation.
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Can Prostate Cancer Treatment Affect Your Quality Of Life
Your age and overall health will make a difference in how treatment may affect your quality of life. Any health problems you have before youre treated, especially urinary, bowel or sexual function problems, will affect how you recover. Both surgery and radiation can cause urinary incontinence or impotence .
When Is Radiation Therapy Used
There are some instances where the practitioners opt for radiotherapy for prostate cancer as opposed to other forms of treatment. Here are some of the situations in which radiation therapy may be used:
- As the first treatment of cancer, which is still confined to the prostate gland.
- It is used along with hormone therapy during the first treatment for prostate cancer that has extended the nearby tissues.
- After the reoccurrence of cancer in the area, it was before surgery.
- To keep cancer under control and relieve you from the symptoms for as long as possible if the cancer is advanced.
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If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Head Or Neck
People who get radiation to the head and neck might have side effects such as:
- Soreness in the mouth or throat
- Dry mouth
- Jaw stiffness
How to care for your mouth during treatment
If you get radiation therapy to the head or neck, you need to take good care of your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat. Here are some tips that may help you manage mouth problems:
- Avoid spicy and rough foods, such as raw vegetables, dry crackers, and nuts.
- Dont eat or drink very hot or very cold foods or beverages.
- Dont smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol these can make mouth sores worse.
- Stay away from sugary snacks.
- Ask your cancer care team to recommend a good mouthwash. The alcohol in some mouthwashes can dry and irritate mouth tissues.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt and soda water every 1 to 2 hours as needed.
- Sip cool drinks often throughout the day.
- Eat sugar-free candy or chew gum to help keep your mouth moist.
- Moisten food with gravies and sauces to make it easier to eat.
- Ask your cancer care team about medicines to help treat mouth sores and control pain while eating.
If these measures are not enough, ask your cancer care team for advice. Mouth dryness may be a problem even after treatment is over. If so, talk to your team about what you can do.
How to care for your teeth during treatment
Radiation treatment to your head and neck can increase your chances of getting cavities. This is especially true if you have dry mouth as a result of treatment.