Prostate Cancer And The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system helps protect us from infection and disease. It also drains lymph fluid from the tissues of the body before returning it to the blood. The lymphatic system is made up of fine tubes called lymphatic vessels that connect to groups of lymph nodes throughout the body.
Lymph nodes are small and bean-shaped. They filter bacteria and disease from the lymph fluid. When you have an infection, lymph nodes often swell as they fight the infection.
If prostate cancer cells spread to the lymph nodes, they usually go to the nodes close to the prostate. You may have a scan to check if the cancer has spread to these nodes.
In early prostate cancer, the cells have not spread to the lymph nodes. Locally advanced prostate cancer may have spread to these nodes. In advanced prostate cancer, there are usually cancer cells in the lymph nodes close to the prostate and in lymph nodes further away.
Who Gets Mental Confusion Or Delirium
Confusion is the most common sign that cancer or treatment is affecting the brain. It is a common problem for people with any advanced illness including advanced cancer or those at the end of life. A person with mental confusion will think and act very differently from normal. The condition can be difficult and stressful for the person affected as well as their loved ones. It may also make it harder for the health care team to care for other symptoms.
How Is Chemo Brain Managed Or Treated
Doctors do not have a standard treatment for chemo brain. Cognitive rehabilitation programs can be helpful. Some medications have been tested for treating chemo brain but results are varied. These agents include gingko biloba, modafinil, methaphenidate, antidepressants, and donepezil combined with vitamin E.
Many cases of chemo brain are temporary. They go away on their own. However, other cases last for longer periods of time.
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Liver Bile Duct Pancreatic And Gallbladder Cancers
Any cancer that interferes with the bile ducts can lead to obstruction and the consequent build-up of bile salts in the skin. With pancreatic cancer specifically, this is most common with cancers located in the head of the pancreas. Other symptoms may include jaundice, abdominal pain, ascites , and abdominal pain.
Living With Cognitive Changes
How to Manage Cognitive Changes
- Take prescribed medication as prescribed by writing down the time and date when you take the medication, taking the medication at the same time every day, using a medication reminder or pill dispenser or asking someone to help you keep track, if necessary.
- Avoid dangerous activities if you are alone, such as cooking, using tools that could cause injury, driving and traveling to unfamiliar places.
- Ask your family to watch for safety issues.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep.
- Use a health journal to communicate symptoms and side effects of medicine with your health care team.
- Talk with your family and an attorney about legal documents you may need.
Whether cognitive changes will improve or be permanent depends on their cause. Acute cognitive changes that occur because of certain medicines often improve when you stop taking the medicine. Chronic changes are often not reversible. However, some medications may enhance cognitive function, or there may be some improvement if the cause of the problems can be corrected.
Correa, D.D. . Neurocognitive function in brain tumors. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 3 232-239.
Calabrese, P., & Schlegel, U. . Neurotoxicity of treatment. Resent Results in Cancer Research, 171: 165-174.
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How Can I Prevent Cancer Fatigue
You cant do much to prevent cancer-related fatigue. But these strategies may help minimize the problem:
- Adopt healthy sleep habits: To build better sleep habits, keep phones and TVs out of the bedroom, go to bed at the same time every night and sleep in a dark, quiet room.
- Ask for help: Let family and friends run errands, fix meals or help with housework or child care.
- Cut back on caffeine:Caffeine provides a temporary pick-me-up. But it can also keep you up at night.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Its important to stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods.
- Set priorities: Be realistic about what you can do. Save your energy for the things that matter most.
- Stay physically active: Go for a walk or try yoga or tai chi. Dont exercise too late in the evening. The activity may make it harder to fall asleep.
- Take 30-minute rest breaks: During the day, dont sleep longer than 30 minutes or you could have trouble falling asleep at night. Rest breaks can help if you have an upcoming event that requires a lot of energy.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A chronic illness like cancer can bring many unwanted challenges. Cancer fatigue is one of them. It makes sense that fighting off cancer can tire out your body. Cancer treatments can also be physically and mentally exhausting. Still, you shouldnt hesitate to let your healthcare provider know how cancer fatigue is affecting your life. You can take steps to bring more energy back into your days.
Risk Of Other Health Problems
Evidence suggests that having hormone therapy might increase the chance of developing heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. There is also some research that suggests having hormone therapy can increase your risk of getting blood clots and anaemia. But more research is needed to help us understand the links between these conditions.
Research shows that hormone therapy can cause:
- an increase in weight, particularly around the waist
- an increase in cholesterol levels
- changes in insulin.
Talk to your hospital doctor and GP about how often you should have general health checks. You may be weighed and have your blood pressure checked regularly. You may also have blood tests to check for diabetes and to measure your cholesterol levels. Your GP may suggest you have these checks about every six months. Or you can ask for them yourself at your GP surgery.
If you already have heart problems or diabetes, talk to your doctor before you start hormone therapy. They will work with you to manage these conditions.
While the risk of getting these conditions may be worrying, its important to remember that hormone therapy helps men to live longer by controlling the cancer.
What can help?
A healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. This includes:
- eating a healthy diet
Try To Keep Up With Your Daily Routine
If you work and are feeling up to it, try to go even if its not for the entire day. Talk to your boss, coworkers, or fellow volunteers about what you can handle. Remember that people who seem unsupportive might be worried about their own chances of getting cancer. Decide if youd rather avoid talking about cancer or be open about it. Do whatever feels right for you.
Spend time with family and friends or go on a trip. Ask yourself some simple questions: What makes me happy? What do I enjoy? Or do the things you havent had time for, such as going on a cruise, learning to play chess, or finding time to pick up that old guitar.
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.
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When Do Cognitive Changes Occur
Cognitive changes can occur at any point during your experience with cancer. Sometimes they are the first sign of a brain tumor. These changes may also happen after completing cancer treatment or after taking certain medications.
- Chemo brain can occur during or after chemotherapy treatment.
- Delirium may occur suddenly during treatment. Delirium usually happens after an identified cause, such as chemotherapy, and it is often reversible.
- Dementia due to cancer treatment comes on gradually over time and usually after treatment is completed. It may be harder to identify than delirium, and it may not have one identifiable cause. Dementia can develop as early as three months after radiotherapy to the brain. It can also occur 48 months or longer after completion of radiation therapy.
- Symptoms of dementia can also occur after surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Prostate Cancer Treatment Linked To Dementia Risk
By E.J. Mundell HealthDay Reporter
But a major new study suggests that this approach might have an unwanted side effect: Higher odds for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
“Our results suggest that clinicians need to raise their awareness about potential long-term cognitive effects of hormone therapy and discuss these risks with their patients,” said study author Ravishankar Jayadevappa.
He’s a research associate professor of geriatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
One expert said it does raise troubling questions.
“Most of us are becoming as afraid of getting Alzheimer’s as we are of getting cancer,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urology specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “When a study pits one debilitating condition against another, it instills fear in patients.”
But the treatment — called androgen-deprivation therapy — remains the “gold standard” for many cases of prostate cancer, according to Kavaler. Therefore, the new data means “tough decision-making” for patients and their physicians, she said.
When the team looked at diagnoses of all forms of dementia, 22% of those who’d received the therapy received such a diagnosis, compared to 16% of those who hadn’t undergone hormonal therapy.
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How Long Do Side Effects Last
Remember that the type of radiation side effects you might have depends on the prescribed dose and schedule. Most side effects go away within a few months of ending treatment. Some side effects may continue after treatment ends because it takes time for the healthy cells to recover from radiation.
Side effects might limit your ability to do some things. What you can do will depend on how you feel. Some patients are able to go to work or enjoy leisure activities while they get radiation therapy. Others find they need more rest than usual and cant do as much. If you have side effects that are bothersome and affecting your daily activities or health, the doctor may stop your treatments for a while, change the schedule, or change the type of treatment youre getting. Tell your cancer care team about any side affects you notice so they can help you with them.
About Dr Dan Sperling
Dan Sperling, MD, DABR, is a board certified radiologist who is globally recognized as a leader in multiparametric MRI for the detection and diagnosis of a range of disease conditions. As Medical Director of the Sperling Prostate Center, Sperling Medical Group and Sperling Neurosurgery Associates, he and his team are on the leading edge of significant change in medical practice. He is the co-author of the new patient book Redefining Prostate Cancer, and is a contributing author on over 25 published studies. For more information, contact the Sperling Prostate Center.
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Sex Hormones And Hot Flushes
Some cancer treatments can lower the levels of sex hormones in the body. The sex hormones are oestrogen and progesterone in women, and testosterone in men. The cancer treatments include hormone treatments for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer needs testosterone to grow. Hormonal treatments aim to:
- stop the testicles from making testosterone
- stop testosterone reaching cancer cells
Delirium Is A Confused Mental State That Can Occur In Patients Who Have Cancer
There are three types of delirium:
- Hypoactive: The patient is not active and seems sleepy, tired, or depressed.
- Hyperactive: The patient is restless or agitated.
- Mixed: The patient changes back and forth between being hypoactive and hyperactive.
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What Are The Key Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer That Can Lead To Kidneys Failure
Prostate cancer spread to kidneys leading to severe and adverse effects, which results in loss of kidney function. When this condition reaches an advanced stage, the body begins to accumulate dangerous levels of fluid, wastes and electrolytes that are hazardous. Kidney stones and prostate cancer are a clear indication of kidneys failure.
Prostate cancer and kidney failure are characterized by the following symptoms:
What Causes Mental Confusion
Mental confusion may have more than 1 cause. This is especially true if a person is weak or very sick. Finding the cause is important so their doctor can choose the best treatment. Here are some possible causes.
Medications. Medications that can cause mental confusion include:
New medications for other conditions
A person may develop confusion or delirium if they suddenly stop taking certain medications, especially if they have previously been taking these medications for a prolonged period.
Organ problems. Mental confusion or delirium can happen if certain organs are not working correctly. These can include the liver, kidneys, heart, or lungs. Seizures or cancer that has spread to the brain can cause delirium.
Problems with fluid and electrolyte balance. The balance of fluids and minerals called electrolytes keeps your brain and body working correctly. Having much more or much less than normal can cause mental confusion. Things that can upset the balance include:
Too much of the mineral calcium in the blood.
Dehydration. This might happen if you are nauseated, vomiting, or having trouble swallowing. Diarrhea and urinating a lot can also cause dehydration.
Too much fluid in the body. Heart, kidney, or liver failure can cause this.
Too much or too little sugar in the blood.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
Although cancer-related fatigue is a common, and often an expected side effect of cancer and its treatments, you should feel free to mention your concerns to your health care providers. Fatigue may be a clue to an underlying medical problem. Other times, there may be treatments to help control some of the causes of fatigue.
Finally, there may be suggestions that are more specific to your situation that would help in combating your fatigue. Be sure to let your doctor or nurse know if you have:
- Increased shortness of breath with minimal exertion
- Uncontrolled pain
Is It Harmful To Drink Alcohol If You Have Prostate Cancer
Drinking alcohol while undergoing cancer treatment can be risky and may cause greater discomfort throughout the treatment process.
The most concerning risks of drinking while undergoing treatment can include:
- worsened side effects of radiation therapy
- masking symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer
- increasing other health risks
- greater risk for prostate cancer-related death
These risks can be even greater for people who are drinking heavy amounts of alcohol or are addicted to alcohol. Alcohol use and addiction can wreak havoc throughout the body, and lead to other struggles commonly experienced by people with cancer such as depression and anxiety.
Heavy drinking is a serious concern that can pose severe dangers for people with or without prostate cancer. If you are struggling with alcohol use or addiction, the best way to prevent or treat serious health concerns is to seek professional treatment.
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What Treatments Are Available
If you have advanced prostate cancer, treatment wont cure your cancer. But it can help keep it under control and manage any symptoms.
If youve just been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, you may be offered the following treatments:
Research has found that having radiotherapy together with one of the main treatments listed above can help some men with advanced prostate cancer to live longer. But radiotherapy isnt suitable for all men with advanced prostate cancer.
If you live in Scotland, you may also be offered a type of hormone therapy called abiraterone acetate together with standard hormone therapy. In the rest of the UK, abiraterone is currently only given to men with advanced prostate cancer that has stopped responding to other types of hormone therapy. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is currently deciding whether to make it available for men who have just been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
Before you start treatment
Before you start any treatment, make sure you have all the information you need. Its important to think about how you would cope with the possible side effects. Speak to your doctor or nurse about this.
It can help to write down any questions you want to ask at your next appointment. It may also help to take someone with you, such as your partner, a family member or friend.
If you have any questions, speak to our Specialist Nurses.