Metastatic prostate cancer is a late stage cancer form. The term metastatic means that the cancer spreads to other body parts. Unlike other cancers that spread cancer of the prostate can be treated at this point with a high chance of recovery. It is important to understand the symptoms of this cancer and ways to treat it when it has moved to other body parts.
Symptoms When This Cancer Is Present
In certain cases of this cancer there may be no symptoms felt even when it has reached an advanced stage. However most men will experience some of the following:
- Frequent Urination Through The Night
- Trouble Urinating
- Painful Urination
- Blood Present In The Urine
- Pain In The Lower Back
When a person is suffering from metastatic cancer in the prostate symptoms may include:
- Weight Loss
- Swollen Feet or Legs
- Pain In The Bones
Ways To Treat This Form Of Cancer
- Hormonal Therapy: The most common treatment for this type of metastatic cancer is hormonal therapy. It lowers testosterone production to slow cancer growth. Many times antiandrogens will be used to block testosterone. This is a very effective way to treat this metastatic cancer. Upon first treatment remission usually occurs.
- Chemotherapy: There are cases where a man’s body does not respond to hormones. The cancer cells grow despite the lack of male hormones. When this occurs a man may need to try chemotherapy. It may also be helpful for men who are losing weight due to the metastatic form of cancer.
New Drug Treatments Being Developed
There are many new drugs being tested to work on this cancer form when it spreads. Some of the newest medication being studied includes:
- MDV3100: This is used when hormonal therapy fails to work.
- Abiraterone: This blocks hormones which increase the growth of this cancer. It has been shown to shrink tumors.
- Bisphosphonates: When testosterone is lowered bones lose calcium and they become weak. These drugs are given to deal with the pain and lower the risk of fractures.
Dealing With Side Effects Of This Condition
Men with this cancer will experience pain especially through treatment. Here are the normal side effects of treatment and ways to deal with them.
- Hot Flashes: Some men will feel hot flashes during hormone treatment. If this becomes a major problem it can be treated with low doses of estrogen.
- Osteoporosis: When calcium is lost due to low testosterone drugs can be used to reverse the condition. It will help to lower the odds of bone fractures especially in the back or hips.
- Tiredness: Light exercise may help alleviate the fatigue that comes with cancer treatment. Taking short naps may help as well.
- Erectile Dysfunction: Certain men will experience erectile dysfunction when going through treatment. There are drugs on the market like Viagra that may help or devices like penis pumps which draw blood into the area.
Where To Find Help
Cancer can be very difficult to get through without a solid support system. There are many social workers or groups who offer free counseling from professionals who understand the situation. There are also support groups with people going through the same situation. This is a great way to feel like part of a group instead of an individual gong through the process all alone. These groups help individuals come together and trade experiences and advise.
Prostate cancer has one of the highest recovery rates of all cancers. Even when it has advanced and spread to other parts of the body successful treatment is possible. Metastatic prostate cancer does not need to mean death especially with comprehensive treatment.