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How Does Prostate Cancer Spread

How Is It Diagnosed And How Fast Does It Grow

Where Does Prostate Cancer Spread To?

Prostate cancer often grows slowly, and most men with early-stage prostate cancer dont notice any symptoms. Symptoms are often noticed later on as the cancer grows. The signs include trouble urinating, blood in the urine, erectile dysfunction, and pain in the back, hips, ribs, or other bones.

According to the American Cancer Society 3 , prostate cancer tests include the following:

Though there are plenty of tests that one can go through to check if you have prostate cancer, there are other ways of how to check for prostate cancer at home.

Where Can I Find Support

It can be very difficult to deal with a diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer. Its natural to wonder if youre doing all you can to fight the cancer and how to handle guilt, intimacy with a partner, and concerns about masculinity. And finding and paying for the best care can, of course, be a challenge.

But emotional and practical support can help you move forward. An important thing to remember is that youre not alone. There are many kinds of help available, and the right cancer resources can make a world of difference.

Ask your doctor for resources you can contact, including social workers and support systems in your community. The Patient Navigator Program of the ACS can be reached at 1-800-227-2345 youll be connected to a patient navigator at a cancer treatment center who can help you with practical and emotional issues.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation has links to in-person and online support groups around the country, and the ACS lists nationwide support programs as well. The PCF also offers resources ranging from help with housing during cancer treatment to finding ways you can look good and feel better while living with cancer.

Problems Emptying Your Bladder

If the cancer is pressing on your urethra or the opening of your bladder, you may find it difficult to empty your bladder fully. This can sometimes cause urine retention, where urine is left in your bladder when you urinate. There are several things that can help, including the following.

  • Drugs called alpha-blockers. These relax the muscles around the opening of the bladder, making it easier to urinate.
  • A catheter to drain urine from the bladder. This is a thin, flexible tube that is passed up your penis into your bladder, or through a small cut in your abdomen .
  • An operation called a transurethral resection of the prostate to remove the parts of the prostate that are pressing on the urethra.

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Should I Make Any Lifestyle Changes Including In My Diet Or Physical Activity

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active, can help your overall health. These lifestyle changes can also have a positive effect for men with bone metastases, Tagawa says. Both diet and exercise, he says, are things that are under a mans direct control.

A healthy lifestyle can help you better manage side effects from treatment as well. Try setting small but realistic goals for yourself when it comes to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.

While no single food is likely to have a benefit for prostate cancer, smart food choices may help you feel better day to day. Start by cutting out foods high in sugar, saturated fat, and added flavorings and preservatives.

If youre not sure which healthy foods to choose, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. This specialist can help you develop a meal plan that includes foods that offer the best chance of slowing the cancers growth and keeping you as healthy as possible.

As an oncologist, Tagawa says he concentrates on treating the cancer itself, but hes aware that many of the men he sees with advanced prostate cancer are older and more likely than younger men to have health problems that can benefit from diet and exercise.

And if youre on hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about investing in some weights or elastic resistance bands to support your bone strength too.

Bone Loss From Prostate Cancer Treatment

Does Prostate Cancer Spread

Testosterone, the male sex hormone, fuels the growth of prostate cancer but it also is crucial to bone health. Treatment of prostate cancer with hormone therapy, also called androgen deprivation therapy , blocks the production of testosterone which stops or slows the growth of the cancer. Without testosterone, bones can become weak and break more easily. When a man is on ADT recovery from a bone fracture takes longer than for other men. It is especially important for men taking ADT to speak with their physician about how to plan for and manage the bone loss before a problem arises. Bone strength can also be decreased as a result of radiation and chemotherapy used to treat prostate cancer.

Fortunately there are ways to strengthen and repair your bones including medicines and lifestyle changes.

  • Bisphosphonates can prevent the thinning of the bone and help make them stronger
  • Oral bisphosphonates include Fosamax and Actonel
  • The intravenous bisphosphonate is Zometa
  • Strive for a healthy diet and make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D
  • When exercising, include weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises
  • Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol

Learn

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Surgery For Prostate Cancer

There are many types of surgery for prostate cancer. Some are done to try to cure the cancer others are done to control the cancer or make symptoms better. Talk to the doctor about the kind of surgery planned and what you can expect.

Side effects of surgery

Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know so they can help you.

If Your Prostate Cancer Has Spread

If cancer has spread to other parts of your body it cant be cured. This is advanced prostate cancer. Treatment can help to control the cancer and your symptoms. This might be:

  • hormone treatment to lower your testosterone levels
  • bisphosphonates to help with bone pain
  • radiotherapy to particular parts of the skeleton
  • radioactive liquid treatment radiotherapy , such as radium-223

If hormone therapy is no longer working for you, you might have:

  • chemotherapy

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What Stages Have To Do With Cancer Spread

Cancers are staged according to tumor size and how far it has spread at the time of diagnosis. Stages help doctors decide which treatments are most likely to work and give a general outlook.

There are different types of staging systems and some are specific to certain types of cancer. The following are the basic stages of cancer:

  • In situ. Precancerous cells have been found, but they havent spread to surrounding tissue.
  • Localized. Cancerous cells havent spread beyond where they started.
  • Regional. Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, tissues, or organs.
  • Distant. Cancer has reached distant organs or tissues.
  • Unknown. Theres not enough information to determine the stage.
  • Stage 0 or CIS. Abnormal cells have been found but have not spread into surrounding tissue. This is also called precancer.
  • Stages 1, 2, and 3. The diagnosis of cancer is confirmed. The numbers represent how large the primary tumor has grown and how far the cancer has spread.
  • Stage 4. Cancer has metastasized to distant parts of the body.

Your pathology report may use the TNM staging system, which provides more detailed information as follows:

T: Size of primary tumor

  • TX: primary tumor cant be measured
  • T0: primary tumor cant be located
  • T1, T2, T3, T4: describes the size of the primary tumor and how far it may have grown into surrounding tissue

N: Number of regional lymph nodes affected by cancer

M: Whether cancer has metastasized or not

After Prostate Removal The Sperm Has To Go Somewhere But Where

How Prostate Cancer Spreads

Men who are facing prostate removal due to cancer will surely wonder where their sperm will go after removal of the prostate gland. Its fair to wonder about this.

First of all, sperm is produced in the testicles.

The testicles continue to make sperm, but because the vas deferens is clipped and cut, and because there is no prostate or seminal vesicles, there is no ejaculate, explains Michael Herman, MD, director of urologic oncology at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY.

People can continue to have orgasms, though, because the nerves that have to do with climax are unaffected, and are actually not related to whether or not someone ejaculates.

The sperm gets broken down and reabsorbed by the body. This is the same process as if someone were abstinent or had a vasectomy.

In short, prostate removal will not affect sperm production or quantity. It only affects what happens to the sperm once its produced.

Unfortunately, removal of the prostate may be more of an issue to a woman than to the man, if she believes she cant enjoy intimate relations without ejaculations.

Men who have partners like this should focus on all that can be done to treat their prostate cancer and prevent a recurrence.

Women who feel deprived without the ejaculate need a harsh lesson in priorities.

Prostate cancer affects one out of six men as a lifetime risk, and the number it kills every year in the U.S. averages in the high 20,000s.

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Can I Travel With A Urostomy

Yes, it just takes a little planning. Make sure to take about double the supplies you think youâll need.

If youâre traveling by car:

  • Have a good idea of where you may stop for bathroom breaks.
  • Donât leave your supplies in a hot car â they could melt.

If youâre flying:

  • Travel with a doctorâs note saying you have a urostomy. This can clear up any questions as you go through security.
  • Ask airport screeners for privacy.
  • Put your supplies in your carry-on bag.

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Newly Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer Why Choose Robotic Prostatectomy

When first diagnosed with prostate cancer, its common for men to wonder what the future will hold. Certainly, a prostate cancer cure is a top priority, but then what?

Dr. David Samadi understands that men want to know:

  • Will I have sex after prostate cancer?

  • How will sex after prostate cancer be different?

For many men, prostate cancer treatment choice determines these answers.

If you select robotic prostate surgery your chances of enjoying sex after prostate surgery are very high. Robotic prostatectomy is a minimally invasive prostate removal. It is considered one of the best treatment options for prostate cancer due to its success rate and fast recovery rate.

The da Vinci robotic prostate cancer surgery system enables the surgeon to make precise movements. This ensures cancer-removal efficiency and sparing of the nerves and muscles that are responsible for the sexual function.

However, it is absolutely critical to choose a robotic surgeon with a high case volume and extensive prostate surgery experience. The robot does not perform the surgery and technology is no guarantee of success.

Dr. Samadi explains how the preservation of sexual function is possible:

If my only responsibility was to remove the cancerous prostate, my job would be much easier, he acknowledges, But patients deserve much more than that. It was paramount that I find a way to remove the prostate gland without damaging functions critical to a comfortable and enjoyable life after recovery.

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Your Gp Practice Nurse And District Nurse

Your GP, practice nurse, and district or community nurse will work with other health professionals to co-ordinate your care and offer you support and advice. They can also refer you to local services. They can visit you in your home and also help support your family. They might also care for you if you go into a nursing home or hospice.

Prostate Cancer Risk Groups

Prostate Conditions: What You Need to Be Aware Of

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.

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Caring For Your Incision

The incision runs from above the base of the pubic area to below the navel. It is important to keep it clean and dry. Showering once a day should be sufficient. If you notice extreme or increasing tenderness, progressive swelling, more than a small amount of drainage or any pus or redness, notify your doctor right away.

How To Spot Prostate Cancer Early

There are two types of screening that your doctor may recommend: the first requires blood collection to measure the level of the prostate-specific antigen PSA. Higher levels often indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

The second test is a physical examination in which a doctor puts on gloves, lubricates the finger and inserts it into the rectum to see if the prostate is enlarged. If any of the results indicate the possibility of prostate cancer, your doctor will recommend further tests.

“Early-stage prostate cancer typically does not have any physical signs or symptoms,” said Dr. Salim Cheriyan, a urologist with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group. “This is why discussing the risks and benefits of screening with your physician is an important part of detecting prostate cancer.”

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Soreness In The Groin

When prostate cancer spreads, its common for cancer cells to go to your lymph nodes and then move to more areas of your body. The lymph nodes are a network of glands that help your body filter fluids and fight infections.

There are several lymph nodes in your groin. These are the ones closest to your prostate, so its common for the cancer to spread to them first. Cancer cells prevent your lymph nodes from draining fluid and working properly. When this happens, your lymph nodes swell. As a result, you might experience pain or soreness in the area.

What Is My Outlook

How Does Prostate Cancer Work?

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.

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What Is The Outlook

No cure is available for stage 4 prostate cancer. Your healthcare team will work with you to help control the cancer for as long as possible while maintaining a good quality of life.

Your outlook will depend on how fast the cancer is spreading and how well you respond to therapies.

With treatment, you can live for many years with metastatic prostate cancer.

What Determines Treatment For Prostate Cancer

If prostate cancer is detected, treatment might not be recommended right away. This is because the prostate cancer cells normally grow so slowly. In this case you might be a candidate for active surveillance. This means that you and Dr. Steven Gange will work together to track the growth of your cancer rather than proceeding to radiation or surgery.

Tests will be conducted periodically to watch the growth. This is an effective plan if there are no symptoms and as long as the cancer continues to grow slowly.

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Further Treatments To Control The Cancer

Your first treatment may help keep your cancer under control. But over time, the cancer may change and start to grow again. If this happens you might be offered other treatments, including:

  • more hormone therapy
  • clinical trials

More hormone therapy

Your prostate cancer may respond well to other types of hormone therapy, such as abiraterone , enzalutamide , steroids or oestrogens, or to a combination of treatments.

More chemotherapy

If youve had hormone therapy on its own as a first treatment, you might be offered a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel . This may help some men to live longer, and can help to improve and delay symptoms. If youve already had docetaxel, you might be offered more docetaxel or another chemotherapy drug called cabazitaxel .

Radium-223

This is a type of internal radiotherapy that may be an option if your cancer has spread to your bones and is causing pain. A radioactive liquid is injected into your arm and collects in bones that have been damaged by the cancer. It kills cancer cells in the bones and helps some men to live longer. It can also help to reduce bone pain and delay some symptoms, such as bone fractures. Read more about radiotherapy for advanced prostate cancer.

How Will My Cancer Be Monitored

Prostate Cancer

Your doctor will talk to you about how often you should have check-ups. At some hospitals, you may not have many appointments at the hospital itself. Instead, you may talk to your doctor or nurse over the telephone. You might hear this called self-management.

You will have regular PSA tests. This is often a useful way to check how well your treatment is working. Youll also have regular blood tests to see whether your cancer is affecting other parts of your body, such as your liver, kidneys or bones.

You might have more scans to see how your cancer is responding to treatment and whether your cancer is spreading.

Your doctor or nurse will also ask you how youre feeling and if you have any symptoms, such as pain or tiredness. This will help them understand how youre responding to treatment and how to manage any symptoms. Let them know if you have any side effects from your treatment. There are usually ways to manage these.

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