Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, Now What?

Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer (1)

To prevent the spread of prostate cancer to other parts, there are different options to prevent and treat the spread of prostate cancer. The approaches used to treat prostate cancer include radiation therapy, active surveillance and surgical removal. Other than these methods, various medicines are also used to prevent and treat prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is complicated, and various doctors and medical experts may have distinct opinions and suggestions for the best treatment course for you. It can be explained as a urologist may recommend something different than a radiation oncologist.

You will get more information as you consult with different professionals. Remember that your treatment plan might extend months, if not years. Active monitoring might continue anywhere between 10 and 15 years. After a decade or more of therapy, prostate cancer may potentially go into remission.

What is Abiraterone?

The advanced form of prostate cancer can be treated with abiraterone. Doctors prescribe abiraterone when other hormone therapy fails in men or does not respond to other treatments. Abiraterone may be a good option if patients have no or minor symptoms. If chemotherapy is not suitable for you or you do not choose to receive it, your hospital doctor may recommend abiraterone for the same purpose. If your prostate cancer fails to respond to the chemotherapeutic agent docetaxel, you might be prescribed abiraterone.

Abiraterone is unsuitable if you already receive enzalutamide, a hormone therapy. Studies show that men who have already taken one of these medicines are less likely to respond well to the other. You can switch to abiraterone in case you experience significant side effects. You can consult your doctor if you’re having problems receiving abiraterone, even if your doctor feels it’s right for you.

Available dosage form of Abiraterone

Abiraterone tablets are available in two strengths: 250mg and 500mg. The total dose for a day is 1000 mg once daily. Taking abiraterone acetate at least one hour before or two hours after a meal is preferable. You must discontinue the treatment if you experience severe side effects.

Side effects of Abiraterone Acetate

The following are the severe side effects that arise due to abiraterone acetate use:

  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Fluid retention
  • Severe liver problems
  • Adrenal problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low potassium levels in the blood

Along with the advantages of abiraterone, it also has some disadvantages. These can be explained by research that many men experience severe side effects during the first 14 months. Similarly, the same happens in half of the men in 20 months who undergo standard treatment.

Precautions Before Taking Abiraterone

You must consult your pharmacist before informing them if you are allergic to abiraterone or any other ingredient of the abiraterone tablet. Your pharmacist may also check the ingredients of the tablets.

Consult your pharmacist and doctor about any additional drugs, multivitamins, or herbal items you’re taking or planning to use. Name one or more of the following drugs:  carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, ketoconazole; nefazodone; pioglitazone, rifabutin, rifampin. Your pharmacist or doctor requires dose adjustment to monitor adverse effects closely. Many other drugs may interact with abiraterone, so be sure to inform your doctor about all of your prescriptions, even if they aren’t on the list.

Contact your healthcare provider and share the information if you have any problems like an infection, a low potassium level in your blood, are under unusual stress, or if you ever suffer from adrenal issues related to the pituitary gland, heart failure, heart palpitations, including QT prolongation (an irregular heart rhythm that can cause fainting, loss of consciousness, seizures, or sudden death), high blood pressure, or heart or liver disease.

It is important to understand that abiraterone is exclusively for men. This drug should not be taken by women, mainly if they are pregnant or may become pregnant or if they are breastfeeding. Abiraterone may damage the baby if used by a woman during pregnancy. Women who want to become pregnant or may be pregnant should not handle abiraterone pills or should not handle without protective gloves. If a pregnant woman swallows or comes into contact with abiraterone pills, she should contact her doctor immediately.

Men using abiraterone with a female partner must utilize contraception methods during therapy and for three weeks following the last dosage. It is better to consult your healthcare provider for the best birth control options. It must be noted that this medicine may reduce male fertility. Consult your doctor about the dangers of abiraterone use.

Other treatment options for Prostate cancer

The doctor may prescribe another treatment if abiraterone is not suitable for you. The following are the other valuable treatments for prostate cancer:

  • Clinical trials
  • Hormone therapy alone
  • Hormone therapy with chemotherapy

In addition to one of the basic therapies indicated above, some men may be administered radiation and other therapies. Other options for treating advanced prostate cancer that has stopped responding to traditional hormone therapy include:

  • Steroids
  • radium -233
  • Oestrogens (less common)
  • Chemotherapy with cabazitaxel or docetaxel
  • Enzalutamide: If you had used abiraterone when you were initially diagnosed with prostate cancer, you wouldn’t be able to take enzalutamide.

Discuss your treatment choices with your doctor. They can also inform you about any clinical studies that may interest you.

Storage and Disposal of Abiraterone?

Abiraterone must be tightly packed in an airtight container. It must be kept out of the reach of children. It should be kept at room temperature, free from heat and moisture.

Containers like weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers are not child-resistant, and small children may readily open them: it is critical to keep all medicine out of reach of children. That’s why always lock the safety caps and store the medication in a secure location that is out of their sight and reach to keep small children safe from poisoning.

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