Advanced Prostate Cancer

Advanced Prostate Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, impacting 1 in 9 men globally each year. While most cases are slow-growing and not life-threatening, some forms of prostate cancer can become aggressive and spread to other parts of the body. Advanced prostate cancer is one such form, which is classified as Stage IV prostate cancer, and is the most severe form of the disease.

If left untreated, advanced prostate cancer has the potential to spread to other parts of the body and is considered incurable. For those patient living with advanced prostate cancer, treatment is focused on extending life and improving quality of life. In this comprehensive guide, we discuss the stages and types of prostate cancer, symptoms, treatments, and more.

Types and Stages of Prostate Cancer

The most common form of prostate cancer is slow growing, localized prostate cancer. The staging system for prostate cancer begins with noncancerous conditions such as prostate inflammation, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, and low-grade prostate cancer. Most prostate cancer is diagnosed between stages I-III.

Stage IV (metastatic) prostate cancer is the most advanced stage, in which the cancer has spread beyond the prostate region. Metastatic prostate cancer is typically treated with hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation.

In many cases, advanced prostate cancer is asymptomatic, meaning there are no obvious signs of the disease. However, common symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include:

  • painful urination
  • weight loss
  • bone pain
  • increased blood calcium levels
  • weakness
  • fatigue

Diagnosis and Treatment

Prostate cancer screenings, including a digital rectal exam (DRE) and Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, are used to detect prostate cancer. In the case of advanced prostate cancer, imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan may be used to determine the extent of the disease.

Treatment options for advanced prostate cancer depend on a variety of factors such as the type of cancer, stage, and overall health of the patient. Hormone therapy is a common treatment for advanced prostate cancer, using drugs to stop the production of male hormones, which can fuel the growth of some types of prostate cancer. Chemotherapy drugs may also be used as a treatment option. For very advanced cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the cancer.

In some cases, radiation therapy and immunotherapy may be used as complementary treatments. These treatments focus on minimizing the spread of the cancer beyond the prostate region and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Living with Advanced Prostate Cancer

Living with advanced prostate cancer can be a challenging experience. Fatigue and physical changes can be difficult to manage. It’s important to stay as connected to loved ones as possible and seek out support when needed. Additionally, medical professionals can provide valuable assistance, suggesting lifestyle changes and other measures to maximize quality of life.


Advanced prostate cancer is a serious form of the disease that can have a significant impact on quality of life. With early detection and the right treatment, it is possible for those living with advanced prostate cancer to manage the symptoms and live a long and healthy life. If you’re experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer or would like to discuss screening options, contact your physician today.