If Prostate Cancer Comes Back
What Factors Determine the Likelihood of Recurrence?
Several signs can point to a prostate cancer that has come back or spread, including:
- Lymph node involvement. Men who have cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the pelvic region may be more likely to have a recurrence.
- Tumor size. In general, the larger the tumor, the greater the chance of recurrence.
- Gleason score. The higher the grade, the greater the chance of recurrence. Your doctor can tell you your score when the biopsy results come back from the laboratory.
- Stage. The stage of a cancer is one of the most important factors for selecting treatment options, as well as for predicting future outlook of the cancer.
What Type of Follow-Up Treatments Are Recommended?
If prostate cancer recurs, follow-up treatment depends on what treatment you have already had, the extent of your cancer, the site of recurrence, other illnesses, your age, and other aspects of your medical situation.
One possible treatment might include hormone therapy. Researchers are working on new drugs to block the effects of male hormones, which can cause prostate cancer to grow, and drugs to prevent prostate cancer growth.
Radiation therapy, ultrasound, extreme cold, electrical current, or medicines may be used to relieve symptoms of bone pain. Chemotherapy or other treatments being medically researched are also options.
Now in clinical trials are several types of vaccines for boosting the body's immune system against prostate cancer cells. Provenge is the only vaccine available on the market.