Outlook Once Cancer Has Spread To The Bones
The research on cancer metastasis is rapidly growing. As researchers better understand the mechanisms of bone metastasis, new drugs and other treatments are being developed. These target particular processes in cells involved in how the cancer cells invade and grow in bones.
The use of nanoparticles to deliver drugs is very encouraging. These tiny particles are able to deliver drugs to the bone with minimal toxicity to the person with cancer.
Rapidly treating bone metastasis can lead to a
Fighting Prostate Cancer With Radiation
The other primary curative treatment for prostate cancer is radiation, administered via external-beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy. Studies suggest that both radiation modalities and surgery are equally effective at eradicating prostate cancer. And, advances in radiation therapies have made them more convenient for patients.
EBRT uses powerful x-rays to attack prostate cancer. Traditional prostate cancer EBRT required patients to visit a treatment facility five days a week for about two months. Today, some centers are using hypofractionated radiation regimens, which reduce the duration of treatment to as little as a week-and-a-half.
Newer methods of EBRT help specialists target the cancerous prostate tissue more precisely with higher radiation doses while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues, such as the rectum. Nevertheless, rectal side effectssuch as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and painful or difficult bowel movementscan occur. A newer technology, SpaceOAR, which uses an injectable hydrogel to push the rectum away from the prostate, can help reduce these side effects.
Medical advances continue to give more clarity to the question Can prostate cancer be cured? In the meantime, men can take lifestyle steps to reduce their risk. For advice, visit our experts post How to Avoid Prostate Cancer.
And for further information on prostate cancer risks, symptoms, and stages, please visit these posts:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Early-stage prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms. These problems may occur as the disease progresses:
- Frequent, sometimes urgent, need to urinate, especially at night.
- Weak urine flow or flow that starts and stops.
- Painful urination .
- Painful ejaculation and erectile dysfunction .
- Blood in semen or urine.
- Lower back pain, hip pain and chest pain.
- Leg or feet numbness.
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How Do Doctors Find Metastatic Prostate Cancer
When you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your doctor will order tests such as:
- MRI scans
- PET scans
These tests may focus on your skeleton and in your belly and pelvic areas. That way doctors can check for signs that the cancer has spread.
If you have symptoms such as bone pain and broken bones for no reason, your doctor may order a bone scan. It can show if you have signs of cancer spreading to your bones.
Your doctor will also ask for blood tests, including a check of PSA levels, to look for other signs that the cancer is spreading.
PSA is a protein made by the prostate gland. A rise in PSA is one of the first signs your cancer may be growing. But PSA levels can also be high without there being cancer, such as if you have an enlarged prostate, a prostate infection, trauma to the perineum, or sexual activity.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get prostate cancer?
- What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
- Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
- What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
- If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
- Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.
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What Are The Signs That Prostate Cancer Has Spread
Approximately one in nine men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. This is why screening is so important, especially if youre over the age of 50.
Unfortunately, many times symptoms of prostate cancer dont appear during the early stages. Some men dont notice the warning signs until its metastasized. Late detection is one of the reasons why only a very few men consider getting treatment, and survive prostate cancer.
If youre asking yourself, What are the signs that prostate cancer has spread, keep reading. Aside from using reputable websites such as drcatalona.com, this article will provide information over some late-stage symptoms.
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How To Tell If Your Cancer Has Metastasized
Prostate cancer metastasis may be suspected if you have specific symptoms such as new lower back pain or elevated liver enzymes. These may be signs your cancer has spread to your spine or your liver, respectively. If your prostate-specific antigen levels continue to rise despite treatment, especially if they are rising particularly fast, this may be a sign that cancer is metastasizing somewhere in your body.
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What Happens If My Cancer Starts To Grow Again
Your first treatment may help keep your cancer under control. But over time, the cancer may change and it may start to grow again.
You will usually stay on your first type of hormone therapy, even if its not working so well. This is because it will still help to keep the amount of testosterone in your body low. But there are other treatments that you can have alongside your usual treatment, to help control the cancer and manage any symptoms. Other treatments include:
Which treatments are suitable for me?
Which treatments are suitable for you will depend on many things, including your general health, how your cancer responds to treatment, and which treatments youve already had. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your own situation, or speak to our Specialist Nurses.
What Is My Outlook
If youre diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, you may want to know how well your treatment is likely to control your cancer and for how long it will control it. This is sometimes called your outlook or prognosis. But not all men will want to know this.
While it isnt possible to cure advanced prostate cancer, treatments can help keep it under control, often for several years. Treatments will also help manage any symptoms, such as pain.
No one can tell you exactly what your outlook will be, as it will depend on many things such as where the cancer has spread to, how quickly it has spread, and how well you respond to treatment. Some men may not respond well to one treatment, but may respond better to another. And when your first treatment stops working, there are other treatments available to help keep the cancer under control for longer. Speak to your doctor about your own situation and any questions or concerns you have.
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First Line Treatment For Advanced Prostate Cancer
The established first line approach is to control the progression of the disease by reducing levels of testosterone in the body. This is because testosterone increases the speed at which prostate cancer cells reproduce.
There are two different ways to lower testosterone levels. Hormone therapy lowers the levels of testosterone in the body by taking tablets or having injections. It is sometimes referred to as medical castration. The surgical option involves removing the testicles, known as surgical castration or orchidectomy, although this is now rarely used.
Another approach is called anti-androgen treatment. Androgens have to bind to a protein in the cell called an androgen receptor to work. Anti-androgens are drugs that bind to these receptors so the androgens cant, effectively blocking them. The main side-effects are gynaecomastia breast enlargement and breast pain, although a single radiotherapy dose to the breasts can help this side-effect.
Combining anti-androgens with testosterone reduction is known as Maximum Androgen Blockade and may be used if hormone treatment alone is not working sufficiently.
Treating with chemotherapy at the same time as the start of hormone deprivation was found to increase survival by 13 months in all patients and 17 months in men with high-volume disease.
What Screening Tests Are Used For Bladder Cancer
It is not standard to screen for bladder cancer. Bladder cancer screening may be used in people who are considered high risk. If you have a history of bladder cancer, a history of a birth defect of the bladder, or have been exposed to certain chemicals at work, you may be considered high-risk. You should ask your provider if screening tests are right for you.
Testing the urine for blood, abnormal cells, and tumor markers can help find some bladder cancers early but the results vary. Not all bladder cancers are found, and some people may have changes in their urine but do not have bladder cancer. These tests can be used in those who already have signs of bladder cancer or if the cancer has returned. However, more research is needed to determine how useful testing the urine is as a screening test.
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Is There A Cure For Prostate Cancer
Although there is currently no cure for metastatic prostate cancer, new therapies are constantly being worked on and improved upon. As with all cancers, these treatments affect men differently based on their overall health, the extent of the cancer and the types of treatments you receive.
In this article on tips for preventing prostate cancer 7 , youll find evidence that suggests diet plays a key role in prostate cancer and the spread of prostate cancer.
Based on the evidence, a few diet tips include:
Home remedies for prostate cancer are often considered a complementary treatment to keep prostate cancer from spreading or to manage the side effects. In addition to a healthy diet, these treatments include essential oils, cannabis and herbal supplements, or plant extracts.
Prostate Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Prostate
The prostate is agland in the malereproductive system. It lies just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra . The prostate gland makes fluid that is part of the semen.
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Bone Loss From Prostate Cancer Treatment
Testosterone, the male sex hormone, fuels the growth of prostate cancer but it also is crucial to bone health. Treatment of prostate cancer with hormone therapy, also called androgen deprivation therapy , blocks the production of testosterone which stops or slows the growth of the cancer. Without testosterone, bones can become weak and break more easily. When a man is on ADT, recovery from a bone fracture takes longer than for other men. It is especially important for men taking ADT to speak with their doctor about how to plan for and manage the bone loss before a problem arises. Bone strength can also be decreased as a result of radiation and chemotherapy used to treat prostate cancer.
Fortunately there are ways to strengthen and repair your bones including medicines and lifestyle changes.
- Bisphosphonates can prevent the thinning of the bone and help make them stronger
- Oral bisphosphonates include Fosamax and Actonel
- The intravenous bisphosphonate is Zometa
- Strive for a healthy diet and make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D
- When exercising, include weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises
- Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol
Overview Of The Staging System
After a thorough assessment by your oncologist, your cancer will be assigned a stage between I and IV. Prostate cancer stages are based on the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system. Using the TNM system, your oncologist:
- Examines the tumor
- Determines if the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes
- Assesses whether the cancer has metastasized
- Considers the prostate-specific antigen level from blood testing
- Assigns a grade group based on how abnormal the cancer appears under a microscope
With this information in mind, you can better understand how stages are assigned and what they mean for patients in general.
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How You Might Feel
When prostate cancer is advanced, it can no longer be cured. But treatment can control it for some time and help to relieve symptoms.
Finding out that your cancer cant be cured is distressing and can be a shock. Its common to feel uncertain and anxious. It’s normal not to be able to think about anything else.
Lots of information and support are available to you, your family and your friends. It can help to find out more about your cancer and the treatments you might have. Many people find that knowing more about their situation can make it easier to cope.
Talk to your doctor or nurse to understand:
- what your diagnosis means
Good Prostate Cancer Care
Your MDT will be able to recommend what they feel are the best treatment options, but ultimately the decision is yours.
You should be able to talk with a named specialist nurse about treatment options and possible side effects to help you make a decision.
You should also be told about any clinical trials you may be eligible for.
If you have side effects from treatment, you should be referred to specialist services to help stop or ease these side effects.
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There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body
- Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
- Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
- Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
Treatments For Prostate Cancer Spread To Bones
If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it nearly always goes to the bones first. Bone metastasis can be painful and can cause other problems, such as fractures , spinal cord compression , or high blood calcium levels, which can be dangerous or even life threatening.
If the cancer has grown outside the prostate, preventing or slowing the spread of the cancer to the bones is a major goal of treatment. If the cancer has already reached the bones, controlling or relieving pain and other complications is also a very important part of treatment.
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What Are Bone Metastases With Prostate Cancer
The ACS describes bone metastases as areas of bone containing cancer cells that have spread from another place in the body. In the case of prostate cancer, the cells have spread beyond the prostate gland. Since the cancer cells originated in the prostate gland, the cancer is referred to as metastatic prostate cancer.
The cancer cells spread to the bones by breaking away from the prostate gland and escaping attack from your immune system as they travel to your bones.
These cancer cells then grow new tumors in your bones. Cancer can spread to any bone in the body, but the spine is most often affected. Other areas cancer cells commonly travel to, according to the ACS, include the pelvis, upper legs and arms, and the ribs.
Surgery For Prostate Cancer
There are many types of surgery for prostate cancer. Some are done to try to cure the cancer others are done to control the cancer or make symptoms better. Talk to the doctor about the kind of surgery planned and what you can expect.
Side effects of surgery
Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know so they can help you.
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