Cancer Home > What Is Estramustine Used For?
If you have prostate cancer, you may receive a chemotherapy medication called estramustine. This prescription drug is not a cure, but it can help relieve symptoms and interrupt the growth and multiplication of cancer cells. Estramustine is specifically used when the cancer has become worse or has spread to other areas of the body.
An Overview of Uses for EstramustineEstramustine phosphate (Emcyt®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of prostate cancer. It combines estradiol (a female hormone) with a chemotherapy medicine.
What Is Prostate Cancer?Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissue of the prostate gland, the small gland that is located just beneath the bladder in men. The prostate gland surrounds a section of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the penis. One of the prostate's main functions is to secrete much of the liquid portion of semen into the urethra, which helps transport sperm through the penis during ejaculation.
Early prostate cancer may not cause symptoms. As the condition progresses, however, symptoms may occur (see Prostate Cancer Symptoms). Because of the prostate's proximity to the bladder, it makes sense that many of the symptoms can involve urinary problems, such as:
- Difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine
- Increased urination, especially at night
- Weak urine flow
- Not being able to urinate at all
- Blood in the urine or semen.
Treatment for prostate cancer can vary, depending on several different factors, such as how quickly the cancer is growing and how much it has spread. In some men, the cancer grows quite slowly, never poses a problem, and does not require treatment. Other men may opt for treatment, especially if their cancer is progressing or is causing symptoms.
Treatment for metastatic prostate cancer (cancer that has spread beyond the prostate to other areas of the body) is usually aimed at relieving painful or distressing symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease. This is known as palliative treatment. Palliative treatment does not cure a condition.
Click the following articles to learn more about prostate cancer treatments:
- Prostate Cancer Treatment by Stage
- Metastatic Prostate Cancer Treatment
- Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy.
Estramustine is approved for the palliative treatment of prostate cancer. It is reserved for use when the cancer is progressing (getting worse) or has spread to other areas of the body. The drug is not a cure for prostate cancer.