In this medical video learn more about the treatments that are enabling men to live longer with prostate cancer.
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Jennifer Matthews: 14 years ago, Carl Visoky received the grim diagnosis of prostate cancer. Carl Visoky: The doctor told me; go home, because there is nothing he can do for me. It's too late, and it will be over. Jennifer Matthews: But today, he is doing just fine. Thanks to a combination of two drugs, Taxotere and Estramustine. Carl Visoky: There was nothing else available at the time. I heard this drug was doing good, so I said, why not. Jennifer Matthews: Taxotere inhibits Tubulin, a protein essential to cell division. Basically, it prevents cells from dividing and growing. It is used in patients who have hormone refractory prostate cancer, which means standard treatment has failed and the cancer is progressing. Dr. Daniel Petrylak: Our study demonstrated that when you treated patients with the combination of Taxotere plus another drug called Estramustine that there was a 20% improvement in overall survival. We have had patients who lived 3, 4, 5 years with this treatment, where in the past they've only lived about 12 to 15 months. Jennifer Matthews: But a prolonged life with this drug mixture has its share of side effects. Doctors say some patients suffer from nausea, fatigue, hair loss, infections from lowered blood counts, and blood clots. But many patients tolerate the drugs just fine. Carl is one of them. He says his quality of life is great and now, he has more time to do those things. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.