The Top 7 Signs Of Advanced Prostate Cancer
In the early stages, you may not notice any symptoms related to prostate cancer. This is why screenings are important. Symptoms can sometimes be noticed for the first time when the cancer advances.
Advanced prostate cancer, also called metastatic cancer, means the cancer has spread to other areas of your body beyond your prostate gland. The most common areas for prostate cancer to spread are your bladder, rectum, and bones. It can also spread to your lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and other body tissues.
Whether youve just been diagnosed or youre in treatment, its also important to know the signs of advanced cancer. Cancer can behave differently depending on your genetics, so not every person will experience the same symptoms in the same way.
Read on to learn more about the seven top symptoms of advanced prostate cancer and how to spot them.
How To Cope With Diarrhea
To help manage your diarrhea, you can take the following measures:
- Have small, frequent meals throughout the day instead of heavy ones.
- Drink clear fluids such as water, clear broth, and apple juice.
- Avoid foods that trigger the worsening of your symptoms. This may include alcohol, spicy food, fatty food, and dairy.
- Consider taking probiotics as they may help restore normal digestion.
- When your diarrhea shows signs of improvement, add low-fiber foods to your diet.
Despite all these measures, your topmost priority is to determine the condition thats causing your loose bowel movement. Thus, visiting the hospital for a thorough physical assessment is a must.
Potential Causes Of Dizziness
The first step is to speak with your care team. They may be able to work with you to figure out whats causing your dizziness or balance issues. It may just be a simple lifestyle change you need, but its important to determine if your dizziness is a sign of a more serious concern.
Below are some potential reasons behind this symptom.
Dehydration: If youre experiencing diarrhea, nausea and vomiting from your treatments or the underlying cancer, its easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration may cause a steep, sudden drop in blood pressure that may leave you feeling dizzy and at risk for passing out.
Getting up too quickly: The medical term for this is orthostatic hypotension. It happens to many people for a variety of reasons. If youre dizzy from cancer or its treatment, changing positions too quickly may make it worse.
Anemia: Marked by abnormally low levels of red blood cells, anemia may occur as a side effect of chemotherapy or as a symptom of some cancers, and may cause dizziness.
Heart disease: While rare, some heart problems may develop after cancer treatment, such as irregular heartbeats, damage to heart valves or heart failure. These may make you feel dizzy. Heart-related side effects are more likely if youre 60 or older, a young child or a female. Heart damage is also more common if you were treated with high doses of chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines. High-dose radiation to the chest may raise the risk for heart disease after cancer treatment.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Because androgens affect many other organs besides the prostate, ADT can have a wide range of side effects , including:
- loss of interest in sex
Studer UE, Whelan P, Albrecht W, et al. Immediate or deferred androgen deprivation for patients with prostate cancer not suitable for local treatment with curative intent: European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Trial 30891. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2006 24:18681876.
Zelefsky MJ, Eastham JA, Sartor AO. Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. In: Vincent T. DeVita J, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, 9e. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2011.
Smith MR, Saad F, Chowdhury S, et al. Apalutamide and overall survival in prostate cancer. European Urology 2021 79:150158.
What The Patient Can Do
Ask the cancer care team if diarrhea can be expected after surgery or after getting any type of cancer treatment or new medication. Depending on the cause of diarrhea, some of these tips might be helpful for people with cancer.
- Try a clear liquid diet when diarrhea starts or when you feel that its going to start. Avoid acidic drinks, such as tomato juice, citrus juices, and fizzy soft drinks.
- Take medicine for diarrhea only if and as prescribed.
- Track the amount and frequency of bowel movements.
- Do not chew sugar-free gum or eat candies and desserts made with sugar alcohol .
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Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression
Metastatic spinal cord compression happens when cancer cells that have spread from the prostate grow in or near to the spine, and press on the spinal cord. MSCC isnt common, but you need to be aware of the risk if your prostate cancer has spread to your bones or has a high risk of spreading to your bones. The risk of MSCC is highest if the cancer has already spread to the spine. Speak to your doctor or nurse for more information about your risk.
MSCC can cause any of the following symptoms.
- Pain or soreness in your lower, middle or upper back or neck. The pain may be severe or get worse over time. It might get worse when you cough, sneeze, lift or strain, go to the toilet, or lie down. It might get worse when you are lying down. It may wake you at night or stop you from sleeping.
- A narrow band of pain around your abdomen or chest that can move towards your lower back, buttocks or legs.
- Pain that moves down your arms or legs.
- Weakness or loss of control of your arms or legs, or difficulty standing or walking. You might feel unsteady on your feet or feel as if your legs are giving way. Some people say they feel clumsy.
- Numbness or tingling in your legs, arms, fingers, toes, buttocks, stomach area or chest, that doesnt go away.
- Problems controlling your bladder or bowel. You might not be able to empty your bladder or bowel, or you might have no control over emptying them.
It is very important to seek medical advice immediately if you think you might have MSCC.
What Caregivers Can Do
- See that the patient drinks about 3 quarts of fluids each day.
- Ask the cancer care team how much or how long diarrhea should last before calling to report it.
- Keep a record of bowel movements to help decide when the cancer care team should be called.
- Ask before using any over-the-counter diarrhea medicine.
- Check the anal area for red, scaly, broken skin.
- Protect the bed and chairs from being soiled by putting pads with plastic backing under the patient.
- Encourage room temperature drinks. They might be better tolerated than cold or hot drinks
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Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Just as IBS can cause prostatitis, so prostatitis can cause IBS. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome , a longstanding and habitual tightening of the pelvic muscles due to stress, can cause both conditions 1. Doctors are just beginning to research CPPS as a cause for the overlapping symptoms of prostatitis and IBS. The early findings from a study by Dr. David Wise at Stanford University are that a program of stretching, massage and relaxation exercises can all be beneficial in CPPS management. Before going on medications or electing to undergo surgery, ask your doctor whether CPPS might be the cause of your discomfort.
- Just as IBS can cause prostatitis, so prostatitis can cause IBS.
- Doctors are just beginning to research CPPS as a cause for the overlapping symptoms of prostatitis and IBS.
What Is The Main Cause Of Prostate Enlargement Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect Bowel Movements Can You Feel If Your Prostate Is Enlarged
- What is the main cause of prostate enlargement? Does an enlarged prostate affect bowel movements? Can you feel if your prostate is enlarged?
The main cause of prostate enlargement is primarily a function of genetics and time. If there is family history of prostate enlargement it is more likely you will experience symptoms related to prostate enlargement. Those over 60 years old are more likely to experience symptoms related to prostate enlargement, though some can experience symptoms as early as their 40s. Usually prostate enlargement happens very gradually as you get older.
The prostate is a gland that sits at the bottom of the bladder and wraps around the urethra. The urethra is like a tube, where urine exits through from the bladder to the outside of the body. The prostate glands are part of the male reproductive system. They produce portions of semen and surround the ducts that carry semen into the urethra during orgasm/ejaculation.
Prostate growth is ultimately secondary to a specific hormone known as DHT . Although testosterone and this specific form of testosterone, DHT, are needed for normal prostate growth, excessive or extra testosterone will not necessarily cause overgrowth of the prostate gland. The absence of DHT within the prostate gland will prevent or potentially diminish prostate growth.
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An enlarged prostate can also be the cause of other problems. If the enlarged prostate is causing symptoms, the best treatment would be a natural remedy. In the meantime, there are treatments for a wide range of conditions that cause a man to experience pain. A common surgical procedure involves an electric loop, laser, or electro-stimulation. The procedure is a safe and effective option for treating enlarged or symptomatic BPH.
Different Options For Managing It
If urine incontinence continues for longer periods of time, or becomes a serious impairment to quality of life, there are other additional options including:
- Artificial urinary sphincter
- Internal male sling
- Anti-cholinergic medications
All of these options for serious impairment require surgery with the exception of medications. Your doctor will help you determine the side effects and potential benefits for your specific case. Additional lifestyle changes may also be beneficial to help fight urinary incontinence, including eating a well-balanced diet with fiber , exercising , avoiding alcoholic, fizzy, or caffeinated drinks, quitting smoking, and retraining your bladder by creating and maintaining a urination schedule.1-4
Impact On Everyday Activities
If you have no symptoms, prostate cancer should have little or no effect on your everyday activities. You should be able to work, care for your family, carry on your usual social and leisure activities, and look after yourself.
If your prostate cancer progresses, you may not feel well enough to do all the things you used to. After an operation or other treatment, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, youll probably feel tired and need time to recover.
If you have advanced prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of your body, you may have symptoms that slow you down and make it difficult to do things. You may have to reduce your working hours or stop working altogether.
Whatever stage your prostate cancer has reached, try to give yourself time to do the things you enjoy and spend time with those who care about you.
What Is Intermittent Adt
Researchers have investigated whether a technique called intermittent androgen deprivation can delay the development of hormone resistance. With intermittent androgen deprivation, hormone therapy is given in cycles with breaks between drug administrations, rather than continuously. An additional potential benefit of this approach is that the temporary break from the side effects of hormone therapy may improve a mans quality of life.
Randomized clinical trials have shown similar overall survival with continuous ADT or intermittent ADT among men with metastatic or recurrent prostate cancer, with a reduction in some side effects for intermittent ADT .
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How Prostate Cancer Is Treated
In cancer care, different types of doctorsincluding medical oncologists, surgeons, and radiation oncologistsoften work together to create an overall treatment plan that may combine different types of treatments to treat the cancer. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as palliative care experts, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, physical therapists, and others.
The common types of treatments used for prostate cancer are described below. Your care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.
Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patients preferences and overall health.
Cancer treatment can affect older adults in different ways. More information on the specific effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy on older patients can be found another section of this website.
Because most prostate cancers are found in the early stages when they are growing slowly, you usually do not have to rush to make treatment decisions. During this time, it is important to talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of all your treatment options and when treatment should begin. This discussion should also address the current state of the cancer:
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
- The need to pee often, especially at night
- Trouble starting or stopping a stream of urine
- A weak stream or one that starts and stops
- Leaking pee when you laugh or cough
- Not being able to pee standing up
- Pain or burning when you pee
- Pain or burning when you ejaculate
- Less fluid when you ejaculate
- Blood in your pee or semen
- Pressure or pain in your rectum
- Pain or stiffness in your lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
- New trouble getting an erection
These arenât symptoms of the cancer itself. They happen because the cancer growth is blocking your prostate.
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Other Professionals Who Can Help
Your doctor, nurse or GP can refer you to these professionals.
- Physiotherapists can help with mobility and provide exercises to help improve fitness or ease pain. This can help you stay independent for longer.
- Counsellors, psychologists or psychotherapists can help you and your family work through any difficult feelings and find ways of coping. Many hospitals have counsellors or psychologists who specialise in helping people with cancer. You can also get free counselling on the NHS without a referral from your GP. Visit nhs.uk/counselling to find out more.
- Dietitians can give you advice about healthy eating, which might help with fatigue and staying a healthy weight. They can also help if you are losing weight or having problems eating.
- Occupational therapists can provide advice and access to equipment and adaptations to help with daily life. For example, help with dressing, eating, bathing or using the stairs.
- Social services, including social workers, can provide practical and financial advice and access to emotional support. They can give you advice about practical issues such as arranging for someone to support you at home. Whats available varies from place to place. Your GP, hospital doctor or nurse might be able to refer you to some services. The telephone number for your local social service department will be in the phonebook under the name of your local authority, on their website and at the town hall.
How Is Dizziness Treated
Some medications may help to decrease the feelings of unsteadiness or imbalance associated with dizziness. These medications are also known as motion sickness drugs. Examples include:
- Scopolamine patch
Prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy through the use of antiemetic drugs may also decrease feelings of dizziness. Go to the Nausea and Vomiting section for more information on treating this side effect.
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Can Cancer Cause Diarrhea Carcinoid Tumor Carcinoid Syndrome
The following cancers can cause diarrhea:
- Spread of any tumor into any abdominal organ
- Hormone-producing tumors causing carcinoid syndrome or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Colorectal cancer
- Medullar cancer of the thyroid
- Pancreatic cancer
- Cancer of the gallbladder and bile duct
- Hepatocellular cancer
Abdominal cancers often do not cause any symptoms until advanced stage. Even colorectal cancer more often causes constipation than diarrhea. Other cancers causing diarrhea by secreting bowel stimulating substances are rare.
Morphine narcotics, like codein, and anti-diarrheal drugs, like loperamide , may reduce diarrhea caused by cancer.
Advanced Prostate Cancer Symptoms
If the disease has progressed to late stages of prostate cancer, a number of possible complications can produce more severe symptoms. The cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Depending on where the cancer has spread, the patient may exhibit different symptoms. If the cancer has spread to the bone, the patient can experience bone pain, sensitivity, and even fractures. Kidney problems can occur if the cancer spreads to the ureters that carry urine from the bladder.
As with any condition, the exact set of symptoms experienced by a prostate cancer patient depend on a variety of factors including the:
- Patients age
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Managing Constipation Diarrhea And Other Bowel Problems
In some instances, normal bowel functioning and control will be regained after treatment and post-recovery. But if this process isnt occurring as fast as anticipated, or isnt happening at all, there are a few interventions and lifestyle changes that can help manage bowel problems. Several of these options include:
- Anti-diarrheal agents
- Avoiding foods that may irritate the digestive system
- Creating a bowel movement schedule and retraining your bowels
In rare instances, it may be possible to have surgery for bowel incontinence, including anal sphincteroplasty or anal sphincter repair, depending on the predicted underlying cause of the incontinence.1-3 Treating bowel-related difficulties can be tricky, and will largely depend on the exact symptoms you are experiencing.