Your doctor will do an initial assessment of your medical condition, including blood tests and imaging tests to determine if chemotherapy is the right treatment for you. If chemotherapy is needed, then your doctor will explain why choosing this treatment option will be beneficial. You should be aware of potential side effects of treatment, and what to do in case of side effects. At the end of your appointment, a nurse will give you a brochure with the most important information about your treatment. You can download the UHN Chemotherapy Patient Information Brochure here.
Coming to The Princess Margaret for Chemo:
The standard for chemotherapy for prostate cancer is Docetaxel (Taxotere®), given concurrently with a steroid called Prednisone. This standard was researched at the Prostate Centre by Dr. Ian Tannock.
Your chemotherapy treatment will take place in the Chemotherapy and Transfusion Centre on the 4th floor of The Princess Margaret. For more information on what to expect in general with chemotherapy and the Chemotherapy Clinic at The Princess Margaret, click here.
Chemotherapy drugs are delivered intravenously – they are given through an IV in your arm. The nurses who work at the Chemotherapy and Transfusion Centre are highly trained, and take extremely good care of all our chemotherapy patients. Typically the treatment is very well tolerated by prostate cancer patients. While you have your chemo, any hormonal treatment you are on (LHRH agonist/antagonist) will be maintained.
Some chemotherapy treatments require taking drugs prior, during and after the infusion of the treatment in order to prevent side effects. Any such requirements will also be clearly described by your doctor. At the end of your appointment you will get a prescription with clear indications if you require these drugs.
Between chemotherapy treatments, you will be seen by your Doctor who will ask about side effects, if present, and discuss how to prevent any side effects for the following treatments. Your doctor will also discuss the effects of the chemo in the control of the disease. You should feel free to ask any questions. Your doctor is available to clear up any confusion or concerns you may have about your treatment.