Outcomes in palliative care for advanced prostate cancer in the radiotherapy and oncology department of the Ahmadu Bello university teaching hospital, Zaria.
BACKGROUND: Adoption of palliative care approach in the management of advanced prostate cancer is important because of the advanced nature of the disease, long course of disease and the fact that prostate cancer predominantly affects the elderly people who are at greater risk of having other comorbidities. Most patients with prostate cancer present at an advanced stage in Radiotherapy and Oncology Department (ABUTH) requiring the use of palliative radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal manipulations, bisphosphonates, analgesics, psychosocial, spiritual and financial support.
AIM: The aim was to evaluate the effect of palliative care in the management of advanced prostate cancer. The objectives were to determine the effect of palliative external beam radiotherapy, chemotherapy, bisphosphonates and analgesics in symptom control. This study is a 9 years retrospective study of patients with advanced prostate cancer from January 2006 to December2014. Information was obtained from the treatment cards as well as case files.
RESULTS: Results showed that 139 patients received palliative External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT). Commonest indication was pain of bone metastases seen in 84(60%) patients. Others included obstructive uropathy in 41(30%) patients, spinal cord compression in 8(6%) patients and bleeding in 6 (4%) patients. One hundred and eight (77.7%) patients received analgesics and 123 (88.5%) patients received haematinics. Bisphosphonates were administered to 34(24%) patients, while 26(17%) patients received chemotherapy. These various forms of treatment resulted in good symptom control and improved quality of life.
CONCLUSION: Palliative care plays a pivotal role in the management of advanced prostate cancer, and the earlier it is commenced, the better the outcome for the patients.