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Pill approved for men suffering from prostate cancer prior to chemotherapy

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 11th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have expanded the approved use of Johnson and Johnson's Zytiga prostate cancer medicine. The medication is intended to treat male patients with metastatic or late-stage prostate cancer prior to receiving chemotherapy.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Zytiga had been previously approved by the FDA. The drug had won approval in combination with the steroid prednisone, for patients with metastatic or late-stage castration resistant prostate cancer who had already received chemotherapy.

That approval came in April of last year, and was approved for patients whose prostate cancer had progressed after chemotherapy treatment.

A prostate cancer pill, Zytiga decreases the production of the male sexual hormone testosterone.

Decreased production of testosterone is essential in prostate cancer patients, and castration remains one of the therapies used to reduce testosterone production.

For some men, testosterone continues to be produced regardless. This therapy, using the Johnson & Johnson drug Zytiga to decrease production of testosterone had only been previously used in prostate cancer patients after chemotherapy.

Prostate cancer is generally slow growing, with some men never detecting any symptoms of the disease. In aggressive cases of prostate cancer, the cancer cells metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the human body especially the bones and the lymph nodes.

Some of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer include difficulty while urinating, weak or interrupted flow of urine, difficulty emptying the bladder completely, frequent urination at night, pain or burning sensation during urination, blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back area the hips or the pelvis that won't go away and painful ejaculation.

It must be mentioned, however, that two thirds of all prostate cancer patients notice no symptoms whatsoever, however there are some signs related to benign prostatic hyperplasia, more commonly referred to as enlarged prostate. Primary risk factors are obesity, age and family genetic history. Prostate cancer in men under 45 is rare but becomes more common with the advancement of age.

Foreign studies indicate the prevalence of prostate cancer in men who died from other causes is 30 percent in men in their 50s and 80 percent of men in their 70s.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men regardless of your race or ethnicity.

It's important to know that a diagnosis of prostate cancer is not a death sentence. Acclaimed British actor Sir Ian McKellen, well-known for his roles in "The Lord of the Ring" series, has admitted that he has lived and fought the disease for the past several years.

"I've had prostate cancer for six or seven years," McKellen told the Daily Mirror. "When you have got it you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn't spread. But if it is contained in the prostate it's no big deal.

"I have heard of people dying from prostate cancer, and they are the unlucky ones, the people who didn't know they had got it and it went on the rampage. But at my age (McKellen is 73) if it is diagnosed it's not life-threatening."

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