metastatic Prostate cancer

What is Metastatic Prostate Cancer?

Metastatic prostate cancer (also called stage 4 prostate cancer) is a form of prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate itself. It has spread to distant sites in other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes, bones, lungs, liver or other organs. A diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer means that the cancer has advanced and is not curable. However, treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.

What are the symptoms of Metastatic Prostate Cancer?

In the early stages, there may not be any visible symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer. However, as the cancer progresses, the following symptoms may be present:

  • Pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble urinating or having weakened bladder control
  • Increased need to urinate or a burning sensation when urinating
  • Painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bone pain or fractures

How is Metastatic Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?

The process of diagnosing metastatic prostate cancer includes a physical exam, blood tests, and imaging tests. During the physical exam, the doctor will check for any lumps or pain in the prostate area. Imaging tests such as computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and bone scan may be used to look for cancerous growths in other parts of the body. Blood tests, such as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, can be used to detect the presence of cancer cells in the blood.

Treatment Options for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

The goal of treatment for metastatic prostate cancer is to help manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options may include:

  • Hormone therapy: This type of therapy involves taking medications or undergoing surgery to reduce the levels of male hormones in the body. This helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and slow the progression of the disease.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses powerful medications to destroy cancer cells. This is often used when the cancer has spread to distant sites around the body.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses radiation to kill cancer cells and reduce pain and other symptoms. It may also be used to shrink tumors in areas where prostate cancer has spread.
  • Vaccines: Vaccines are used to help the body’s immune system recognize and fight cancer cells. Targeted therapies are a form of vaccine therapy that is designed to target and destroy specific molecules on cancer cells.

In some cases, surgery may be used to remove tumor when it is localized in one area. However, metastatic prostate cancer is not curable and treatment is used to help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.