Symptoms and diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer

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Symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer 

If you have symptoms, the type you get depends on which area of your body is affected by the cancer.

If your prostate gland is enlarged:

  • Difficulty passing urine.
  • Passing urine more often day and night.
  • Feeling that your bladder isn’t empty after going to the toilet. 

If the cancer is affecting your bones:

  • A nagging ache in a particular bone 
  • More severe bone pain 
  • Weakened bones that break easily 
  • Too much calcium in your blood, which can cause tiredness, constipation, nausea, thirst and confusion. 

Some symptoms may be vague, such as feeling unwell, unusually tired or weak.

If you do have symptoms, they often improve when you start treatment. 

All these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer, but it’s important to go to the GP and get any unusual changes checked out. 

We have more information on managing side-effects and symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer.

What tests will I have? 

You may have more tests to find out how far the cancer has spread. Some of these tests can also be used to check how you are responding to treatment. 

PSA blood test
The PSA test measures levels of the PSA protein in your blood. PSA can rise due to disease in your prostate. The test can also show how well your disease is responding to treatment. 

Bone scan
A radioactive injection that can show areas of abnormal bone on a scan, which may be caused by cancer.

Bone X-ray
You may have bone X-rays if the bone scan shows up hot spots. These X-rays will help to confirm if the cancer has spread or not. 

MRI scan
A scan that uses magnetic energy to build up a picture of the tissues in your chest, abdomen and pelvis. During the scan you will lie inside a tunnel-like machine.

CT scan
A type of X-ray that gives a detailed picture of the tissues inside your body.

PET - CT scan
A radioactive injection that will show up any cancer spread to other parts of your body on a CT scan picture. 

A type of PET scan, which uses a special antibody molecule and radioactivity to see if the prostate cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body . It is used in some situations for staging or if suspicious of early recurrence .

Read more about these tests.

These tests will help your doctor to decide on the best treatment for you.

For more information

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