THE ADT BOOK
What is Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT)?
ADT (also known as hormonal therapy) is prescribed for prostate cancer patients prior to potentially curative treatment such as radiotherapy. It is also offered those experiencing a rise in PSA after an initial curative treatment, and those whose cancer has spread outside of the prostate at the time of diagnosis. Some common drugs used for ADT are Lupron®, Zoladex®, Eligard®, Suprefact® and Firmagon®. These medications help control prostate cancer growth by shutting down testosterone production from the testes. However the depletion of testosterone has a number of side effects that can negatively impact the quality of life of both patients directly and their partners indirectly.
Why we created the ADT Book
Through our research, we discovered that prostate cancer patients starting on ADT and their family members were not well-informed about side effects and how to manage them. Their lack of knowledge about ADT, in turn, limits them from taking appropriate actions to reduce or prevent the negative impact of ADT. We created the ADT Book to help inform patients about what to expect when starting this treatment, and how to maintain good health and quality of life while on ADT.
The ADT Book has been tested in two separate studies within the Capital District Health Authority in Halifax, NS, and at the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary, AB.
What is the ADT Book?
Androgen Deprivation Therapy: An essential guide for men with prostate cancer and their loved ones is a book for both prostate cancer patients starting on ADT and their loved ones. The ADT Book presents all of the known side effects of ADT, as well as the established evidence-based management strategies for dealing with those side effects. The book addresses adverse physiological effects, such as weight gain, muscle loss, bone mineral density, and risk for diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. As well, ADT can impact patients’ mood, energy level, erectile function, and libido. Men may also lose body hair (arms, legs and torso) and experience genital (penis and testicular) shrinkage. All of these side effects are discussed in this volume.
The book is genuinely a workbook for both patients and partners; it is not just a text outlining side effect management strategies. Thus all of the major chapters have specific exercises to help patients implement management strategies and make specific lifestyle changes. Exercises are also included to help patients and partners to stay close, both emotionally and physically, even when ADT suppresses the patients’ sexual interest and function. There are suggestions for how to remain sexually active despite changes in sexual function and reduced interest in sex. At the same time we recognize that not all men on ADT are partnered and the book addresses their needs as well.
A French version of the ADT Book is now available at puq.ca.
Correction to the first paragraph on page 94.
The second sentence in the paragraph should be replaced with the following:
"Other drugs are also used; phentolamine and papaverine can be blended by a pharmacist to form a combination commonly called "bimix", which may also be effective."