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Prostate Cancer, Advanced or Metastatic - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you:

  • Are completely unable to urinate.
  • Have painful urination and a fever higher than 100°F (37.78°C), chills, or body aches.
  • Have blood or pus in your urine or semen.

Call your doctor to schedule an appointment if you have unexplained:

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  • Weight loss.
  • Dull, aching pain in your lower back, pelvis, or hips.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin area. These nodes are usually not tender.

Active surveillance or watchful waiting

Active surveillance means a man will be watched closely by his doctor and have regular checkups and tests, including prostate biopsies. If the cancer starts to grow more quickly, he will have other treatment.

Active surveillance is an option for men with low-risk cancer who expect to live more than 10 years and don't have other chronic health problems. It may be an option for some men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. But active surveillance usually is not a choice when prostate cancer has spread.

Sometimes men who have PSA levels that are rising slowly after having treatment may not start hormone treatments right away but be monitored with active surveillance.

Watchful waiting means a man will be watched closely by his doctor but not have treatments that try to get rid of the cancer. If an older man has serious health problems and isn't expected to live more than 10 years, he may not be able to handle treatments or even want to have treatments except those needed to keep him comfortable (palliative care).

Who to see

Doctors who can treat locally advanced and metastatic prostate cancer include:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 22, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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