APCC 2017 – Dr Carmel Pezaro
Dr Carmel Pezaro discusses the ultimate causes of death in men with advanced prostate cancer: what actually kills them?
Talking Urology podcast transcript
APCC 2017 Interviews - Carmel Pezaro
David Gray: So I’m with Carmel Pezaro from Eastern Health and Monash University who’s a medical oncologist and she’s just given a fantastic talk on Prostate Cancer Past, At Peace, Gone but how and why do men with prostate cancer die? That was a very thought-provoking talk and Carmel if you can just give us the three take-home messages from this please?
Carmel Pezaro: Yeah, thanks Dave. I was very grateful to have the opportunity. The three take home messages that I aimed for in my talk was to say that the process by which men actually die might be one related to the failure of an organ perhaps through either metastasis or another event related to the cancer. Secondly, the treatments that we use for prostate cancer can have side effects which can include fatal events certainly and importantly androgen deprivation therapy can have long-term toxicities including fatal events but also many of the other treatments that we use. Also I talked about the fact that prostate cancer can be a bystander and that these men have other comorbidities and it may be another event that actually leads to death. Finally, I mentioned that actually sometimes none of those things happen and the process for those men can be one of a slow constitutional decline and then perhaps a more opportunistic illness.
David: Yeah and it’s now, following that talk, it’s made it a lot easier when a patient asks us “how will my prostate cancer actually kill me?” It will help with being able to answer our patients with this information.
Carmel: Yeah and what I feel, as I was preparing this talk, it really crystallized for me that I think that when people ask us that question often I believe they’re asking us just to tell them that although symptoms can vary, the really important point is that we do have excellent palliation and that we can manage symptoms as they occur to give really good quality right to the end.
David: Perfect! Thanks very much Carmel.
Carmel: My pleasure.