Currently, chemotherapy is not an initial treatment for prostate cancer. Even for patients with advanced cancer, a hormonal therapy will initially be applied, since the results of the treatment are comparable to chemotherapy, but evidences less side effects. If, however, the PSA level increases regardless of the hormonal therapy, and if a change and/or an enhancement of the hormonal therapy is not successful, meaning that the cancer resists these treatments and cannot be stabilized, we speak of a hormone-refractory carcinoma of the prostate. In those cases, chemotherapy may be considered as an additional treatment. If possible, chemotherapy is used to cure the cancer, however for the most part, the goal is block the tumor growth, and to slow down the course of the disease (palliation).
For patients with prostate cancer usually the agent docetaxel (taxotere) is used as a therapy, at times also in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents and cortisone.
Docetaxel is a liquid that is administered through a drip (infusion) into a vein (intravenously). Infusions can be administered on an outpatient basis and will be given approximately every 3 weeks, depending on the type of cancer you are being treated for. With accompanying medication, side effects, such as nausea, can generally be treated effectively.
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