When it comes to treating small cell prostate cancer your treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer e.g. the size and how far the cancer has spread. If the cancer has spread, the aim of the treatment is to control the cancer for as long as possible. The treatment also reduces symptoms and gives you as good a quality of life as possible. The treatment for small cell cancers of the prostate is different from acinar adenocarcinomas. Doctors are more likely to treat small cell prostate cancer with chemotherapy. Hormone therapy does not often work for this type of prostate cancer. Here are a few other ways that prostate cancer can be treated.
As the cancer has usually spread, the main treatment is chemotherapy. The aim of chemotherapy is to control the cancer and symptoms you have. You may have etoposide with cisplatin. Other drugs used include ifosfamide and doxorubicin.
You may also have radiotherapy. This can help to shrink the tumour in the prostate and so control the cancer. It can also reduce any symptoms you have. Radiotherapy can also control symptoms if your cancer has spread to other parts of your body.
Hormone therapy tends not to work very well for this type of prostate cancer. You may have hormone treatment if you have a mixture of small cell and adenocarcinoma and your PSA is higher than normal.
If your tumour is just within the prostate gland, you may have surgery before or after chemotherapy but this is rare. Surgery means taking out the whole of your prostate gland. Unfortunately, surgery is often not possible because the cancer has usually already spread outside the prostate gland when it is diagnosed.
Research into Treatment
Small cell cancer of the prostate is rare so it is harder to research than other more common types of prostate cancer. Small cell cancers can develop in almost any part of the body. The most common place for them to start is the lung. Research has looked into some of the newer chemotherapy drugs and targeted cancer drugs for small cell lung cancer. The research looks promising but it is not clear if these treatments will work in the same way for small cell prostate cancers.
If you’re suffering from prostate cancer symptoms then get in touch with your GP and book a consultation!