Symptoms Of Metastatic Cancer
Metastatic cancer does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, what they are like and how often you have them will depend on the size and location of the metastatic tumors. Some common signs of metastatic cancer include:
- pain and fractures, when cancer has spread to the bone
- headache, seizures, or dizziness, when cancer has spread to the brain
- shortness of breath, when cancer has spread to the lung
- jaundice or swelling in the belly, when cancer has spread to the liver
What About Other Treatments I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
What Are Prostate Cancer Survival Rates By Stage
Staging evaluation is essential for the planning of treatment for prostate cancer.
- A basic staging evaluation includes the patient examination, blood tests, and the prostate biopsy including ultrasound images of the prostate.
- Further testing and calculations may be performed to best estimate a patient’s prognosis and help the doctor and patient decide upon treatment options.
Prognosis refers to the likelihood that the cancer can be cured by treatment, and what the patient’s life expectancy is likely to be as a consequence of having had a prostate cancer diagnosis.
If a cancer is cured, your life expectancy is what it would have been had you never been diagnosed with prostate cancer. If the cancer cannot be cured due to it recurring in distant locations as metastases, or recurs either locally or in an area no longer able to be treated in a curative manner, then estimates can be made of what is likely to be your survival based again on group statistics for people who have been in the same situation.
Nomograms are charts or computer-based tools that use complex math from analysis of many patients’ treatment results.
The prognosis for prostate cancer varies widely, and depends on many factors, including the age and health of the patient, the stage of the tumor when it was diagnosed, the aggressiveness of the tumor, and the cancer’s responsiveness to treatment, among other factors.
You May Like: Is Cranberry Juice Good For Prostate
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.
Treatments May Have Side Effects
The treatment options for early-stage prostate cancer fall into three broad categories: surgery, radiation therapy, and active surveillance. Your doctor will make a treatment recommendation based on your numbers as well as a mathematical tool known as a nomogram, which can help you and your doctor better assess how extensive your cancer is likely to be and whether it is likely to become active in the future.
Yet clinical studies have not provided any evidence that one treatment is better than another or that any treatment at all actually prolongs life: The average 5-, 10-, and 15-year survival rates are virtually the same for all treatment options in early-stage prostate cancer, including active surveillance. Its also important to understand that no mathematical model is foolproof, and some men diagnosed with early-stage, locally confined disease will later find out that their cancer was more extensive than originally believed.
If you are diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, you have a number of treatments to choose from. A brief comparison is listed in Table 2.
You May Like: Perineural Tumor
Causes Of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It is more common over the age 65. Although it can happen at a younger age it is uncommon under 50. People who have a prostate include men, transwomen and people assigned male at birth. If you are a trans woman and have had genital gender affirming surgery as part of your transition, you still have a prostate. Trans men do not have a prostate. It is important to talk to your GP or nurse if you are worried about prostate cancer or have symptoms.
We have more information about the risk factors of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Risk Groups
In addition to stage, doctors may use other prognostic factors to help plan the best treatment and predict how successful treatment will be. Examples of these include the National Comprehensive Cancer Network risk group categories and the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment risk score from University of California, San Francisco.
Information about the cancers stage and other prognostic factors will help the doctor recommend a specific treatment plan. The next section in this guide is Types of Treatment. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about the different types of treatments doctors use for people with prostate cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.
Recommended Reading: Is Turmeric Good For Prostate
How Are These Cancers Treated
Different prostate cancers behave in different ways, and they might respond differently to treatments. Treatment can depend on whether there is a mix of cancer types.
Some rare cancers may be treated in a different way to common prostate cancer. For example, hormone therapy does not work for men with small cell cancer and so isnt usually given as a main treatment for this.
Because these cancers are so rare, there isnt enough evidence to say which treatments will work best for all of them. Your treatment will depend on your situation for example, the type of cancer you have and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Your symptoms, and any treatments youve already had, may also affect the treatment youre offered.
If you have any questions about your cancer speak to your doctor or nurse. Theyll be able to explain your test results and talk you through your possible treatment options.
Treatments for localised cancer
If your cancer is contained within the prostate , you may be offered treatment that aims to get rid of the cancer such as surgery or radiotherapy.
Some rare prostate cancers may be more likely to come back after treatment than common prostate cancer. If theres a risk your cancer could spread outside the prostate after treatment, you might be given other treatments before, at the same time as, or after your main treatment.
If you have small cell prostate cancer you might have chemotherapy before another treatment.
Should I Have A Psa Test
- The Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme gives you information on risks and benefits of the PSA test to help you decide whether or not to have it. Go to the website
- Also, an online decision aid called Prosdex provides information, including real-life stories, to help you make a decision on whether or not to have the PSA test.
Read Also: How Bad Is Stage 3 Prostate Cancer
Advanced Genomic Testing For Prostate Cancer
The most common lab test for prostate cancer is advanced genomic testing, which examines a tumor to look for DNA alterations that may be driving the growth of the cancer. By identifying the mutations that occur in a cancer cells genome, doctors may get a clearer picture of the tumors behavior and be able to tailor a patients treatment based on the findings.
Tnm Staging System The Most Widely Used Staging System For Prostate Cancer Isthe Ajcc Tnm System For Prostate Cancerthere Are 4 Stages Often The Stages 1 To 4 Are Written As The Roman Numeralsi Ii Iii And Iv Generally The Higher The Stage Number The More The Cancerhas Spread The Stages Can Be Further Divided Into A B Or C An Earlier Lettermeans A Lower Stage Talk To Your Doctor If You Have Questions About Staging Tnm Staging Is Based On The Following: T Describes Thetumour And Whether Doctors Can Feel It Or See It On Imaging Tests It Alsodescribes Whether The Tumour Has Grown Outside Of The Prostate To Thesurrounding Tissues T Is Usually Given As A Number From 1 To 4 A Highernumber Means That The Tumour Takes Up More Of The Prostate Or That The Tumourhas Grown Outside Of The Prostate Into Nearby Tissues Some Stages Are Alsodivided Further Into A B Or C An Earlier Letter Means A Lower Stage The Clinical T Is Your Doctor’s Best Estimate Of Theextent Of The Cancer Based On A Physical Exam A Digital Rectal Exam A Prostatebiopsy And Imaging Tests If You Have Surgery To Remove Your Prostate Apathological T Will Be Given Pt Is More Accurate Than Ct T The Tumour Has Grown Outside The Prostate And Into The Seminal Vesicles T4 The Tumour Has Grown Outside The Prostate And Into Nearby Structures Suchas The Bladder Rectum Pelvic Muscles And Pelvic Wall
N describeswhether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the prostate. N0 means that thecancer hasn’t spread to any nearby lymph nodes. N1 means that it has spread tonearby lymph nodes.
M describeswhether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. M0 means that the cancerhas not spread to other parts of the body. M1 means that it has spread to otherparts of the body.
PSA level describes the amount of the prostate-specificantigen in the blood.
Grade Group is a measureof how likely the cancer is to grow and spread.
You May Like: Does Prostatitis Go Away On Its Own
Drugs To Treat Cancer Spread To Bone
If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it almost always goes to the bones first. These areas of cancer spread can cause pain and weak bones that might break. Medicines that can help strengthen the bones and lower the chance of fracture are bisphosphonates and denosumab. Sometimes, radiation, radiopharmaceuticals, or pain medicines are given for pain control.
Side effects of bone medicines
A serious side effect of bisphosphonates and denosumab is damage to the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw . Most people will need to get approval from their dentist before starting one of these drugs.
Looking For More Of An Introduction
If you would like more of an introduction, explore these related items. Please note that these links will take you to other sections on Cancer.Net:
ASCO Answers Fact Sheet:Read a 1-page fact sheet that offers an introduction to prostate cancer. This free fact sheet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
ASCO Answers Guide:Get this free 44-page booklet that helps you better understand the disease and treatment options. The booklet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
Cancer.Net Patient Education Video:View a short video led by an ASCO expert in prostate cancer that provides basic information and areas of research.
Cancer.Net En Español: Read about prostate cancer in Spanish or read a 1-page ASCO Answers Fact Sheet in Spanish. Infórmase sobre cáncer de próstata en español o una hoja informativa de una página, Respuestas sobre el cáncer.
The next section in this guide is Statistics. It helps explain the number of people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and general survival rates. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society’s publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2021, and the ACS website .
Recommended Reading: Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect A Man Sexually
How Serious Is My Cancer
If you have prostate cancer, the doctor will want to find out how far it has spread. This is called the stage of the cancer. You may have heard other people say that their cancer was stage 1 or stage 2. Your doctor will want to find out the stage of your cancer to help decide what types of treatment might be best for you.
The stage is based on the growth or spread of the cancer through the prostate, and if it has spread to other parts of your body. It also includes your blood PSA level and the grade of the cancer. The prostate cancer cells are given a grade, based on how they look under a microscope. Those that look very different from normal cells are given a higher grade and are likely to grow faster. The grade of your cancer might be given as a Gleason score or a Grade Group . Ask your doctor to explain the grade of your cancer. The grade also can helpdecide which treatments might be best for you.
Your cancer can be stage 1, 2, 3, or 4. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, like stage 4, means a more serious cancer that has spread outside the prostate.
If your cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body, it might also be given a risk group. The risk group is based on the extent of the cancer in the prostate, your PSA level, and the results of the prostate biopsy. The risk group can help tell if other tests should be done, and what the best treatment options might be.
Building A Family Tree For Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
There has been a longstanding debate about when metastasis occurs, Dr. Curtis said. Studying the metastatic process in humans is challenging because researchers cant observe the process directly, she noted.
Colorectal cancer is a good model for studying the genetic changes in human tumors over time because the genetic changes that initiate colorectal cancer development, known as driver mutations, are well known, Dr. Curtis and her coauthors wrote.
To gain insights into the genetic changes involved in metastasis, the team first compared the patterns of genetic mutations between the primary tumors of 21 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and metastatic tumors in the liver or brain from the same patients.
The researchers used the mutation patterns to create a family tree showing the genetic relatedness between the primary tumor and the metastatic tumor for each patient, Dr. Curtis explained. In 17 of 21 patients , the primary tumor appeared to give rise to the metastatic tumor very early in the disease process.
In those 17 patients, the team found few driver mutations that were unique to the metastasis. Rather, the driver mutations found in the metastatic tumors were already present in the primary tumor, Dr. Curtis said. Moreover, most of these mutations were present throughout different regions of the primary tumor and in the majority of cells, suggesting that they arose early during tumor development.
Recommended Reading: How To Massage A Man’s Prostate
Questions To Ask Your Doctor Or Nurse
- What type of hormone therapy are you offering me and why?
- Are there other treatments I can have?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of my treatment?
- What treatments and support are available to help manage side effects?
- Are there any lifestyle changes that might help me manage my cancer, symptoms, or side effects?
- How often will I have check-ups and what will this involve?
- How will we know if my cancer starts to grow again?
- What other treatments are available if that happens?
- Can I join any clinical trials?
- If I have any questions or get any new symptoms, who should I contact?
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer dont have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.
Some signs of prostate cancer are trouble peeing, blood in the pee , trouble getting an erection, and pain in the back, hips, ribs, or other bones.
If signs are pointing to prostate cancer, tests will be done. Most men will not need all of them, but here are some of the tests you may need:
PSA blood test: PSA is a protein thats made by the prostate gland and can be found in the blood. Prostate cancer can make PSA levels go up. Blood tests will be done to see what your PSA level is and how it changes over time.
Transrectal ultrasound : For this test, a small wand is put into your rectum. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off the prostate gland. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen.
MRI: This test uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the body. MRI scans can be used to look at the prostate and can show if the cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby organs.
Prostate biopsy: For a prostate biopsy, the doctor uses a long, hollow needle to take out small pieces of the prostate where the cancer might be. This is often done while using TRUS or MRI to look at the prostate. The prostate pieces are then checked for cancer cells. Ask the doctor what kind of biopsy you need and how its done.
You May Like: How To Reduce Prostate Swelling Naturally