Is Casodex a chemo drug?

Prostate is a part of the male reproductive system beside the penis and testicles. Prostate is a small gland, size of a walnut that is located deep inside the groin and surrounds the tube connected to the bladder known as the urethra. It is located between the base of the penis and rectum. It plays a role in sperm viability and motility by supplying seminal fluid or semen and mixed with sperm from the testes. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. Casodex 50 mg is a common drug used to help treat prostate cancer.

Most prostate cancers develop from the gland cell and in most common cases it is associated with adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is common in men after skin and lung cancers. It is estimated that 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their life. Prostate cancer typically is diagnosed in those aged 65 and above.

Symptoms of prostate cancer differ in one person and another. Common symptoms include difficulty in urination, discomfort passing urine, presence of blood in the urine or semen, frequent urination especially at night, trouble to completely empty the bladder and pain in the bones especially the back, hips or pelvis area and unintentional weight loss. Since symptoms of prostate cancer may resemble other medical conditions, it is best to get checked by a doctor for further explanation and medical advice.

Casodex contains bicalutamide as its active ingredients. It works by blocking testosterone hormone that plays a role in the growth of prostate cancer cells. It is a medicine belonging to a group of drugs known as anti-androgen or androgen receptor inhibitors. It is also known as a type of hormone therapy. Casodex is usually combined with other hormone therapy such as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analog to treat prostate cancer. It is worth noting that Casodex is not a chemo drug. A drug is only considered to be a chemo drug if it is able to destroy cancer cells. Most chemo drugs often also affect healthy cells. Remember, Casodex is a hormone therapy as it works by slowing down or putting a stop to the cancer growth by altering hormones.

The recommended dose is 1 tablet once a day. Patients can take the medicine in the morning or evening. The important part is to take it regularly at the same time. This will maximise the drug effectivity and ensure the drug works in the body as it is at optimal level. It is best for patients to take medicine at the same time of the day to remember to take it on a regular basis. It is usually given for weeks but commonly up to 2 years. Patients can stay on Casodex for 3 years but it is worth noting that doctors may put patients on Casodex longer than this depending on the stage of the cancer itself. The answer to how long a person can stay on Casodex is only known by the doctor after evaluating the patient’s condition based on cancer stage, response towards medication received, other therapies beside Casodex and possible side effects from treatment. One thing for sure, it is common for patients to be put on Casodex for 2 years.

Casodex may interact with certain other drugs. Hence, it is best to let your healthcare provider know if you have other medical conditions such as hypertension and infection. This is important to avoid side effects and dangerous drug interaction which could worsen the current medical condition apart from prostate cancer.

Casodex, just as with any other medicine, does have potential side effects. Common side effects include abdominal pain, presence of blood in urine, hot flush, dizziness, breast tenderness and swelling of limbs such as hands, ankles or feet. Serious side effects are rare but breathing difficulty should be a sign that the patient should get to the emergency room immediately. Remember, doctors will always prescribe medicine that provides benefits that outweigh the side effects. It can be understandable that taking medicine for a long time can cause worries such as the possibility of toxicity or damages to the organs. Fret not, doctors will always run blood tests to make sure this does not occur. Hence, patients should always attend appointments and follow-up with their doctor. If a patient has other medical conditions such as hypertension or infection and is taking other medicine, they should let their doctor know. This is necessary to avoid possible drug interaction or high chance for side effects that could worsen the current prostate cancer condition.

In essence, Casodex is used to treat prostate cancer for a long period of time. Casodex is usually seen to be prescribed for advanced prostate cancer. Patients need to take this medicine exactly as told by their doctor. Never stop taking this medicine abruptly because this may lead to antiandrogen withdrawal syndrome which may worsen prostate cancer or cause the cancer to progress rapidly than before. Thus, if patients do feel side effects from taking this medicine, they should notify their doctor and not intentionally stop taking the medicine cold turkey.

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