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FAQ about Xofigo Radium-223
What is radium-223 (Xofigo)?
Radium-223 is a kind of internal radiotherapy to treat metastases in the bones caused by prostate cancer. Xofigo is a brand name that produces radium-223.
Xofigo mechanism of action is the following: radium-223 affects bone cancer cells. This radioactive agent is similar to calcium, so it is absorbed by bones. As a result, cancer cells, located in the bones, are directly destroyed by radium-223 (Xofigo) radiation.
How is radium-223 (Xofigo) for prostate cancer used?
- A patient arrives to a hospital, undergoes diagnostic procedure to determine a dose of Xofigo injections.
- The medical center orders radium-223 (Xofigo). The delivery of the drug takes about 1 week. The therapy starts.
- Radium-223 (Xofigo) is a radioactive agent administered intravenously. A doctor puts a thin cannula in the vein during a treatment session. It takes about 1 minute.
The Xofigo injection is repeated every 4 weeks. The maximum number of injections is 6. The procedure is outpatient — you leave the hospital immediately after the injection. A patient can stay in the country for this period or to return home after injection.
To control a patient's health condition, blood tests are required between treatment sessions.
When is radium-223 (Xofigo) indicated?
Radium-223 (Xofigo) injection is indicated in case:
- when surgical or hormonal treatments are ineffective for prostate cancer no longer
- cancer (metastases) has spread to the bones but not other parts of the body
- a patient has not been treated by Abiraterone (a hormonal therapy drug). The following treatment with radium-223, in this case, increases the risk of bone fractures.
Among the contraindications to radium-223 (Xofigo) for prostate cancer treatment may be:
Only a doctor can determine whether radium-223 (Xofigo) is adequate prostate cancer treatment in your case and estimate possible risks.
What are the side effects of radium-223 for prostate cancer?
Radium-223 (Xofigo) may cause such side effects:
- swelling in the extremities
- reduced blood cells counts
- pain in bones.
In most of the cases, side effects are mild. But do not hesitate to tell your doctor if some of them occur.
What are the recommendations after prostate cancer treatment with radium-223?
A doctor will give you recommendations specific for your case, however there some universal advice:
- drink a lot of water for a few days after treatment to speed up radiation withdrawing from your body
- wash the hands carefully every time you visit a toilet
- wash your underwear separately to avoid radiation spread.
You need to follow this advice for several days during the treatment with radium-223.
What is the price for radium-223?
Radium-223 (Xofigo) cost is considered quite high compared to prostatectomy, HIFU, or brachytherapy prices, for instance.
However, radium-223 is the only treatment option that can prolong a patient's life in case of prostate cancer stage 4 with metastases in the bones.
The cost of radium-223 (Xofigo) is pointed for an injection. Only a doctor can determine how many doses a patient needs after diagnostic procedures.
Compare the prices for radium-223 (Xofigo) in the hospitals listed on this page.
You can always get a personalized quote by filling out a form on Bookimed. This option is free.
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