Prostate Cancer, Advanced or Metastatic - Topic Overview
Is this topic for you?
This topic is about
prostate cancer that has spread or come back after treatment. For information
on early cancer of the prostate gland, see the topic
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a group of cells that grows faster than normal in a
man's prostate gland. It can spread into other areas and kill normal
prostate gland sits just below a man's bladder. It makes part of the fluid for
semen. In young men, the prostate is about the size of
a walnut. It usually grows larger as you grow older.
may be one of these types:
- Locally advanced prostate cancer. This is cancer that
has grown through the outer rim of the prostate and into nearby tissue.
- Metastatic prostate cancer. This is cancer that has
spread, or metastasized, to the
lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
- Recurrent prostate cancer. This is cancer that has
come back after it was treated. The cancer can come back in the prostate, near
the prostate, or in another part of the body. If it comes back in another part
of the body-often the bones-it is still called prostate cancer, because it
started in the prostate.
What causes prostate cancer?
Experts don't know what causes prostate cancer. But they believe that
getting older and having a family history of prostate cancer raise your chance
of getting it.
What are the symptoms?
Sometimes there are no symptoms of either locally
advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.
When they do appear,
symptoms of locally advanced prostate cancer include:
- Waking up many times during the night to urinate.
- Having trouble starting your urine stream, having a
weaker-than-normal stream, or not being able to urinate at all.
- Having pain or a burning feeling when you urinate.
- Having blood in your urine.
- Having a deep pain or stiffness in your lower back, upper
thighs, or hips.
Symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer may include:
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Your doctor will do a
digital rectal exam, in which he or she puts a gloved,
lubricated finger in your rectum to feel your prostate. You may also have a
blood test called a
prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. These tests will
help find out if you have prostate cancer or if your prostate cancer has come
Your doctor also may do a
biopsy. In this test, your doctor takes a sample of
tissue from your prostate gland or from the area where the cancer may have
spread and sends the sample to a lab for testing. A biopsy is the only way to
know for sure that you have prostate cancer.