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Radium-223 May Improve Quality of Life in Some Prostate Cancer Patients

Castration resistant prostate cancer, or CRPC for short, is known to be one of the more difficult forms of this disease to treat. It also tends to present with a variety of serious quality of life concerns. Patients with this form of cancer, for example, often note pain, anorexia and fatigue. Spinal cord compression is also not out of the question. Researchers hoping to improve these concerns while helping treat the disease have found that radium-223 may make a difference.

A recent trial involving hundreds of patients showed promising results for radium-223 treatments when used with other typical standard of care protocols. Men receiving radium-223 versus a placebo reported a better quality of life overall. The results were quite encouraging for researchers who have been working to find a way to help better treat castration resistant forms of the disease while enabling men to enjoy a higher quality of life.

There are about 180,000 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed annually in the United States. An estimated 26,000 men die from the disease. While most cases of prostate cancer are caught in their early phases and are deemed lower risk, that is simply not always the case. Castration resistant prostate cancer poses a particular challenge in treatment because of its risk level and the additional quality of life issues it may present with.

All men are considered at risk for prostate cancer as they age. With that in mind, it is highly recommended that men speak with their healthcare providers about routine screening for the disease. Tests such as a digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen test should be considered on an annual basis starting in middle age. An exact recommendation on screening will hinge on a man’s personal risk factors for prostate cancer. Early detection is critical for helping ensure more successful treatment.

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