# Breast and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Stoniphi, Oct 19, 2019.

1. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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Update: Got the Xtandi and have started taking that. 1 year prescription. It arrived inside a bright yellow plastic bag emblazoned with a bio-hazard symbol and the notice "danger - chemotherapy drug handle with gloves only". 4 pills once a day.

So far the side effects have been minimal, thank dog. A bit of diarrhea, some difficulty sleeping and a kind-of skanky feeling in my guts. The cost is $10,000USD a month. I applied for and received a grant to cover my copay which is$2600USD the first month and $600USD every month until the end of this year when we start all over again...maybe. Depends on the Radiation Oncologist and the results of any further radiation treatments I may get. I immediately gained 7 pounds within 2 weeks when I started Eligard ($4700 for 6 month injection) and my cholesterol has gone up to 218 from 98. Testosterone is less than 2.5 ng/dL, PSA is .13.

Other than that I remain healthy, though I am in for a complete physical exam later this week. Am continuing my daily 7 mile runs with my lovely lady Labrador, weight training, Taekwondo and yoga. Hopefully this practice will continue to reinforce the chemotherapy.

A new word that I have taught to my doctors: "oligometastatic". The cancer has metastasized, but there are less than 5 mets. Oligometastatic patients may still be curable. My mets are in 2 pelvic lymph nodes. Closeby mets are different than distant mets and may be more amenable to further treatment. We shall see.

3. ### globaliRegistered Senior Member

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I like this. Good luck!!

Xtandi is not exactly....chemotherapy.

5. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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Thanks!

The bottle it comes in and the bag the bottle is in - both from the manufacturer - say it is. Same with leuprolide acetate chemicals like Lupron, Eligard and Firmagon. The Google statement on Lupron is "since Lupron is harmful to both cancer cells and normal cells, it is considered a form of chemotherapy."

You have piqued my curiosity, however. Why do you believe that Xtandi is not exactly what the maker claims it is?

7. ### globaliRegistered Senior Member

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292
Well i think its just semantics.
Xtandi is not exacly a traditional chemotherapeutic regimen, meaning that it doesn't blindly inhibit the cell division of both normal and cancerous cells. It acts on the androgen receptor, which means that it selectively acts on cells that depend on the androgen receptor, and blocks the signals that the androgen receptor orchestrates, including the division and the growth of prostate cancer cells. There are also some side effects. Do you call that chemotherapy? I don't know.....

Of course, its the right treatment for your case. Traditionally, chemotherapy doesn't work very well in the hormone dependent stages of prostate cancer, at least compared to other cancers.

8. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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I agree, it is indeed semantics. "Chemotherapy" is a frightening term while "hormone therapy" sounds much less so. Therapy refusal rate is high and the docs want patients to undergo the treatments, so they call it "hormone therapy" and make light of the side effects.

Lupron side effects: https://www.drugs.com/sfx/lupron-side-effects.html
In my case, "Decreased size of the testicles" means that the Lupron chemotherapy killed both of my testicles outright. Doc confirms this is common and they don't return to function again.

Definition of chemotherapy from NIH at https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/chemotherapy
"chemotherapy
(KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, or infusion, or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, or biologic therapy."
List of chemotherapy drugs from Navigating Care at https://www.navigatingcare.com/library/all/chemotherapy_drugs Lupron, Eligard and Xtandi are all on that list.

Xtandi side effects https://www.drugs.com/sfx/xtandi-side-effects.html

While the intent is as you describe, Xtandi also interacts with many cells in the body besides cancer cells thus the many diverse and serious side effects. I would drop the word "selectively" from your definition as I am currently experiencing many of those side effects in body systems that have nothing to do with either testosterone or the cancer.

Next step is next week when I re-approach the radiation oncologist and see if I am to be the first oligometastatic patient he spot radiates. I will keep updating this here.

globali likes this.
9. ### globaliRegistered Senior Member

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Even if you check tylenol's adverse effect list, i am sure you are gonna be terrified. However, we all know its a relatively mild drug. However, the companies should report every single side effect that has been observed.
The point is that you are experiencing side effects from your medications, which sucks. However, you are quite lucky (in a way) that you don't need to take chemo-, because sometimes the side effects are really devastating.
Anyways, good luck with your tretment. I hope you can get some meaningful radiation therapy and eradicate your disease (together with the hormonal therapy)!!

10. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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Yes, three times the recommended dose of Tylenol will flat out kill your liver.