Older men who find themselves diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer will often find their treatment options limited. Hoping to spare them from unnecessary side effects, doctors often recommend the use of androgen-replacement therapy as one of the sole courses of action. While very successful in helping prolong life, ADT patients may find another therapy added in the mix enhances their survival rates even more. Researchers have, in fact, found that radiation therapy can provide a cancer-fighting boost.
ADT therapy is a hormone therapy. This particular treatment aims to starve cancer cells, effectively stopping them from growing or spreading. While it can be very useful for a time in older men with advanced cases of the disease, ADT does have a shelf life, so to say. After some time in treatment, men will find the therapy produces diminishing results. When that is the case, radiation may or may not be offered depending on the case, the man’s age and other particulars.
Researchers are finding, however, that providing ADT and radiation at the same time can increase longevity in advanced cases. To arrive at these findings, doctors reviewed the cases of men who underwent ADT alone or with radiotherapy between 1995 and 2007. They found that there was a significant reduction in overall mortality rates for men who underwent both forms of therapy.
Advanced prostate cancer generally cannot be cured, but doctors often have the ability to slow its progression. In doing so, they can help buy men valuable time to enjoy life. The combination of radiotherapy and ADT may add to that time, researchers now say.
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should carefully discuss all their treatment options with their healthcare providers. The best recommendations will be case specific and take into account the man’s wishes on how to proceed with treatment.