Treatments for advanced prostate cancer
Advanced prostate cancer
When prostate cancer has spread to other parts of your body it is known as advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.
Cancer cells can spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream or lymphatic system. The most common places for prostate cancer to spread are to your bones, lymph nodes or glands and more rarely to the lung, liver and brain. It can also spread into areas near to the prostate gland, like the water pipe that drains the bladder (urethra) and sometimes the tubes leading from the bladder to the kidneys as well as the back passage (rectum).
It is not possible to cure advanced prostate cancer but there are treatments that can control your prostate cancer for months or years. Sometimes in the early stages of advanced prostate cancer there may be no symptoms and it may be diagnosed through investigations done by the doctor like scans or blood tests.
When advanced prostate cancer does cause symptoms, this can be the first sign that there may be something wrong. Some symptoms of advanced prostate cancer can be caused by the cancer itself while others may develop due to treatment for prostate cancer. Your symptoms will depend on how your cancer has affected you. Urinary problems, bone pain or unexplained fatigue or weight loss are common symptoms when advanced prostate cancer is diagnosed. Starting treatment often improves these symptoms.
What treatment can I have for advanced prostate cancer?
Normally hormone therapy is the first treatment used to control advanced prostate cancer. Hormone therapy treats prostate cancer cells wherever they are in the body, such as in your bone. Along with hormone therapy your doctors or nurses will look at other treatments which may be necessary to help control the cancer or manage any symptoms you might be experiencing. Treatments may include:
- Bone-strengthening medication
- Radiotherapy to relieve pain
- Pain-relieving medications
Some men with advanced prostate cancer may be given chemotherapy in combination with their first hormone therapy.