How Much Pain Might I Have
Some men have no pain at all. Men who do have pain experience different levels of pain. Some men only feel mild discomfort and are able to carry out their daily activities as normal, but other men find that the pain affects their daily lives.
Only you can describe how your pain feels. Another man with advanced prostate cancer may not feel pain in the same way. So predicting how much pain you might have is difficult, as it varies from man to man.
How much pain you have will depend on several things, including:
- where the pain is
- whats causing the pain
- how soon your doctor or nurse can help you manage the pain
- finding the right pain relief for you
- taking the right amount of pain-relieving drugs at the right times
- how tired you feel
- how well you feel in general
- if you feel anxious
- if you feel depressed.
Bladder And Urinary Troubles
A prostate tumor that has grown significantly in size may start to press on your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the passage the carries urine from your bladder out of your body. If the tumor is pressing on your urethra, you might have trouble passing urine.
One of the common areas for prostate cancer to spread to is the bladder, because the two organs are close. This can cause additional problems with urination and bladder function.
Some symptoms your bladder and urethra are being affected by cancer include:
- urinating more frequently
- getting up in the middle of the night to pee
- having blood in your urine or semen
- feeling like you have to urinate often and not actually passing anything
Its not as common, but prostate cancer can also spread to your bowel. The cancer first spreads to the rectum, which is the part of your bowel closest to the prostate gland.
Symptoms of cancer thats spread to the bowels include:
- stomach pain
Do Cancers Really Disappear Spontaneously Or Are They Just Eluding Us
Cancer specialists are comfortable with the terms partial remission and complete remission when patients undergo some sort of aggressive therapy such as radiation or chemo.
But the concept of spontaneous remission is more problematic, especially with low-risk prostate cancers in patients like me on active surveillance who have had no treatment at all.
Back in May, Michael Scott, a patient advocate and layman with loads of expertise with prostate cancer, went out on a limb to suggest in his blog that spontaneous remission was real and worthy of the attention of serious researchers.
Scott, founder of Prostate Cancer International and its Active Surveillance Virtual Support Group, mentioned my case and that of a man whose name he couldn’t recall.
I asked other men in two virtual support groups for men on AS if they had experienced spontaneous remission. James Simms, 72, a retired banker from Tampa, was the only one to reply. As it happens, he had described his case at Scott’s group.
Simms and Scott gave me a new perspective on what might have happened with my “lame” cancer, as my urologist calls it.
So my cancer potentially disappeared sometime in 2011, though that was not acknowledged at that time.
My urologist, Brian Helfand, MD, PhD, of NorthShore University HealthSystem in Glenview, Illinois, joked last year that if my PHI were any lower, I wouldn’t have cancer at all. Was he inadvertently on to something?
Pathologists weigh in
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What Does Active Surveillance Involve
Active surveillance has one big advantage: Men whose prostate cancer doesnt grow can avoid surgery or radiotherapy, including the side effects. One disadvantage is that, if the cancer progresses, it may be discovered too late. It may have already spread to other parts of the body by then . Knowing that you have cancer in your body can be distressing too.
Another disadvantage of active surveillance is that you have to have regular check-ups. The medical societies in Germany recommend the following:
- A PSA test and palpation examination every 3 to 6 months in the first two years.
- InA total of three biopsies in the first three years:
- One biopsy after 6 months,
- a second biopsy about 12 to 18 months after the first one, and
- a third biopsy at the end of the three years.
After that, a biopsy should be done every three years.
The Path To Better Prostate Health
Because the PAE procedure does not involve surgery or physical removal of part of the prostate, patients will not see results immediately. The first changes are seen most commonly one to two months after the procedure, with continued improvement until about four months.
The most common side effects of PAE immediately after the procedure include urethral burning and increased urinary frequency. These side effects usually stop within a week.
The good news? According to Dr. Isaacson, about 75 to 80 percent of men treated with PAE experience a significant and lasting improvement.
UNC Medical Center is one of just a few hospitals in the U.S. that offers PAE to patients who are not enrolled in a clinical trial. Appointments for evaluation are available in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Hillsborough and Siler City. You can make an appointment or .
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Can An Enlarged Prostate Be Cured
An enlarged prostatealso referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common condition among men as they grow older. It is characterized by the natural enlargement of the prostate, a small gland situated between the bladder and penis. The urethra, or the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis, is surrounded by the prostate, and often becomes squeezed and compressed as a result of prostate enlargement. This can cause a weakened urine stream and related issues like a frequent urge to urinate and difficulty sleeping through the night.
Prostate enlargement tends to come with age. While its difficult to completely reverse an enlarged prostate, there are several treatments that can relieve symptoms, reduce the size of the prostate and help restore normal urine flow. In fact, many men with prostate enlargement are able to achieve a positive quality of life with non-surgical treatments.
What Will I Learn By Reading This
When you have chemotherapy to control your prostate cancer, you may have side effects or unwanted changes in your body. Side effects are different from person to person, and may be different from one treatment to the next. Some people have no or very mild side effects. The good news is that there are ways to deal with most of the side effects. You will learn:
- What diarrhea is
- Why does chemotherapy cause diarrhea
- Things you can do to manage your diarrhea
- When to call your doctor
It is important for you to learn how to manage the side effects you may have from chemotherapy so that you can keep doing as many of your normal activities as possible.
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Urethral Stricture As A Side Effect Of Radiation For Prostate Cancer
After radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer with external beam radiation including proton beam therapy and/or radioactive seed implants, the most common location of a urethral stricture is the membranous urethra. This is the part of the urethra just under the prostate and the urethra in this area is surrounded by a muscle called the external urethral sphincter, which is one of the sources of continence. An illustration of the urethra showing the location of this part of the urethra is found here.
When patients are referred to the Center for Reconstructive Urology with blockage of urine flow after treatment for prostate cancer, they often are not clearly aware of their specific diagnosis with regard to the urethral stricture location and stricture length, even if they underwent prior treatment . If they only had a cystoscopy it is not possible to know the length of the stricture. If imaging was performed and that imaging did not include both a film during injection of contrast and during voiding , there cant be a definitive diagnosis.
We evaluate the urethra using both cystoscopy and high definition accurate urethral imaging to first determine the exact stricture length and location. This comes before a discussion of all options .
With the gentle injection of X-ray contrast to fill the bladder , we can then obtain a film during urination called a voiding cystourethrogram
What Happens When Prostate Cancer Is Left Untreated
Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
While most men undergo some form of treatment for their prostate cancer, some men today choose to not be treated for their prostate cancer. Instead, they may choose to have their healthcare providers monitor their cancer.
Known as active surveillance, it is common when the cancer is expected to grow slowly based on biopsy results, confined to the prostate, not causing any symptoms, and/or small. In active surveillance, healthcare providers will initiate cancer treatment only if cancer starts growing.
Others men may choose to not undergo cancer treatment because of a short life expectancy or other serious medical problems. They may feel that the risks or side effects of cancer treatment outweigh their potential benefits.
This option is certainly OK and reasonable in the right circumstancesrequiring a careful and thoughtful discussion with your healthcare provider and family.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor Nurse Or Radiographer
You may find it helpful to keep a note of any questions you have to take to your next appointment.
- What type of radiotherapy will I have?
- How many sessions will I need?
- What other treatment options do I have?
- What are the possible side effects and how long will they last?
- What treatments are available to manage the possible side effects from radiotherapy?
- Will I have hormone therapy and will this carry on after radiotherapy?
- How and when will I know if radiotherapy has worked?
- If the radiotherapy doesnt work, which other treatments can I have?
- Who should I contact if I have any questions?
- What support is there to help manage long-term side effects?
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Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer
If the cancer has reached an advanced stage, it’s no longer possible to cure it. But it may be possible to slow its progression, prolong your life and relieve symptoms.
Treatment options include:
- hormone treatment
If the cancer has spread to your bones, medicines called bisphosphonates may be used. Bisphosphonates help reduce bone pain and bone loss.
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What Do We Mean By A Prostate Infection
Prostate Infection, also known as Prostatitis, is an infection in and around the prostate gland. This occurs when the prostate gland and the area around it gets inflamed. This is usually caused by bacteria which may have infiltrated the body through other causes. The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the base of the penis. The prostate gland also has the urethra passing through it which carries urine from the bladder to the penis.
Some Prostate Infections tend to cause no symptoms whatsoever however there are some forms of prostate Infections which can cause potentially serious symptoms and require immediate medical attention. There are basically two types of Prostate Infections of which one is acute bacterial prostate infection and the other is chronic bacterial prostate infection.
The Acute form of prostate infection causes sudden onset of symptoms which are severe in intensity and require emergent medical attention while the chronic form of prostate infection has symptoms which are mild in intensity and develop gradually over a period of time.
Staging Of Prostate Cancer
Doctors will use the results of your prostate examination, biopsy and scans to identify the stage of your prostate cancer .
The stage of the cancer will determine which types of treatments will be necessary.
If prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of survival are generally good.
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What Is The Urolift Procedure
The UroLift procedure takes less than an hour and is performed in a urologists office under local anesthesia.
At the start of the procedure, the urologist inserts a special device into the patients urethra. When the device reaches the prostate, it releases multiple small implants. Each implant is made of a nickel-titanium capsular tab and a stainless steel urethral tab that are held together by a polyester suture.
These implants lift or push away prostate tissue that is blocking the urethra. As a result, the urethra is widened, allowing urine to pass easily out of the body.
A unique advantage of the UroLift procedure is that, unlike medications and other surgeries used to treat BPH, it does not cause sexual side effects such as erectile or ejaculatory problems.
A disadvantage of the UroLift procedure is that while the implants are intended to be permanent, some patients develop recurrent symptoms, requiring a repeat procedure or another type of prostate surgery.
Besides a UroLift procedure, other minimally invasive procedures used to treat the symptoms of BPH include:
- Water vapor thermal therapy : Uses energy stored in steam to remove prostate tissue
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy: Uses heat to destroy prostate tissue
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Bph Vs Prostate Cancer
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a very common non-cancerous condition that affects many men from the age of about 50.
The prostate gland gets bigger as you get older and sometimes presses on the tube you pass urine through . This can cause problems with passing urine.
In both BPH and prostate cancer, the prostate gland gets larger.
BPH is benign which means its not cancer and it cant spread.
Prostate cancer can spread to other parts of your body.
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Testicular pain may happen in one or both testicles, said the Cleveland Clinic.
The health site continued: Soreness may be acute or chronic .
Potential causes include injury, twisting, infection, hernia, nerve damage, fluid build-up, inflammation and cancer.
Testicular pain may be acute, meaning that its onset is sudden, and its duration is limited.
The pain is considered chronic if it is constant or intermittent and it lasts three months or longer.
Pain may occur in one testicle or both testicles.
The sensation of pain cannot be measured directly, and this is why it is imperative to speak with your GP about the possible cause for this pain.
Blood and urine tests may be performed to rule out any infections as possible causes.
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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.
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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.
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Using Palliative Care To Ease Discomfort
For both urinary and bowel incontinence that is caused by compression of nerves in the spinal cord as a result of prostate cancer that has spread to the spine or bones, palliative treatments for metastasized cancer may be of use. These treatments include radiotherapy, medication, or surgical removal of spinal cord tumors. However, these treatment options are not indicated for every situation. Your doctor will help you determine what path is right for you and to improve your quality of life. As always, coping with quality of life symptoms like these can take a toll on an individual or their caretaker both mentally and physically. For this reason, it can be a good idea to consult a therapist or counselor if needed for extra support.
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Where Does Prostate Cancer Spread
The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. It can also spread to the lymph nodes, liver and lungs and other organs.
A large tumour in the prostate gland can spread into or press on areas around the prostate, such as the back passage or urethra. The urethra is the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
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