Why does my father need chemotherapy "indefinitely" and what does this mean?

3 answers | Last updated: Mar 20, 2015
Pandora asked...

My father is 65 years young. He is in his second round of chemotherapy, Taxotare. He was unable to continue taking prednisone along with his chemotherapy because he was unable to sleep, and that resulted in making poor decisions. The doctor told him yesterday at treatment that his cancer is not advancing at that his PSA remains at 20. However, they want the treatments to go on indefinitely. He can take chemo holidays. What does this mean? I know he is incurable, but we thought he was going for 10 treatments. What is indefinitely? Until he dies and why would they make that decision?

Expert Answers

Andrew Putnam, M.D. is a Palliative Care physician at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.

Most likely the doctors are suggesting chemotherapy indefinitely because it seems to be keeping the cancer from growing, but is not making it shrink. I would guess they are worried that if they stopped the chemotherapy for more than a short while (chemo holiday), it would allow the cancer to grow and possibly spread. So the plan is probably to continue as long as the chemo is holding the cancer in check.

Community Answers

Kane answered...

Has anyone tried using naturopathic treatment for prostate cancer, or any cancer for that matter? If you have, what were the results? Just wondering if there might be an alternative solution to chemo, radiation, and surgery.


Pandora answered...

We just started going to Reiki, and some other natural therapies but it is along with traditional medicine, and chemo.