It is possible for a patient to have both prostate cancer and bones cancer, although this is seriously rare, however, prostate cancer does not become bone cancer, although there are people who will have you believe so because they are both afraid and ignorant.
Prostate cancer is a disorder of the prostate gland in which cancer develops when the cells of the prostate mutate and begin to multiply uncontrollably, which metastasize or spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly the bones and the lymph nodes, causing mostly pain, difficulty in urinating, problems during sexual intercourse, and erectile dysfunction, amongst other symptoms that may potentially develop during later stages of the disease.
Bone cancer is significantly different – it is a malignant tumor that involves the skeletal system, often caused by the tumors arising directly within the bones or joints. Even though all bones are susceptible to this form of cancer, the entire region that surrounds the knee happens to account for the most tumors.
Metastatic cancers are often mistaken for bone cancer because they have migrated from the primary malignancy through the bloodstream and lymphatic system and are now incident in the bones and joints. Even specialist may be fooled in this regard, which could lead to a misdiagnosis and the administration of the wrong kind of treatment. Should the intervention for a bone osteosarcoma be administered to a patient suffering instead from a prostate carcinoma, serious complications are sure to ensure, not made easy be the fact that osteosarcomas are more common among males than females.
The symptoms of prostate cancer often include a lot of bone pain, especially when the metastatic malignant cells have breach the lymphatic system to get to the bones. That notwithstanding, metastatic prostate cancer affects the proximal part of the bone more than it does anywhere else, bone cancer often prefers to begin with pain in the joints areas.
Ordinarily, the five year survival rate for prostate cancer diagnosed and treated in the early stages is nearly intact, and the prognosis over a ten-year period is well over ninety percent. But once the disease has the chance to grow and spread to the bones and lymphatic system, this prognosis slips drastically. Prostate cancer that causes a lot of bone pain is likely late stage and treatment has to be very aggressive and precise. However, it is treatable although the chances of a relapse are high.
With a bone cancer prognosis, things aren’t quite the same. Preservation of the limb is only possible if the tumor is detected before it has invaded the surrounding nerves and blood vessels. Howbeit, treatment is often fostered with the presumption that there are secondary tumors and metastases all over the body, which are sure to lead to weakness of the bones structure, and a host of other things. Bone cancer may be rarer than prostate cancer, but it still awful, and the prognosis is not brilliant either way.
There are no symptoms for prostate cancer in the early stages of the disease. As a result many men are not aware that they may be suffering from the disease, and so they allow it to grow and get to the late stages when the symptoms appear in force before they start seeking out ‘the best prostate cancer doctor in the country.’ It does not have to be that way, and several other men, actually most men, are lucky enough to do the right thing and go in for medicals often enough to catch it early on. The American Cancer Society released statistics that up to ninety percent of all prostate cancer diagnoses are made in the early stages of the disease, so that the prognosis for the patient over a five- and ten-year period remains excellent.
Prostate cancer, when its symptoms do get to the surface, often begins with painful urination and intercourse. In some cases the patient may have difficulty attaining and maintaining a stream of urine, but in more cases the patient will urinate a lot more frequently than before. The painful urination soon becomes painful intercourse and ejaculation due to the partial blockage of the urethra as a result of prostate enlargement. Not very long after, the man will begin to see bloodstains in his urine and in his semen. Basically, this indicates that the tumor in the prostate gland has grown enough to begin to shed its cells and spread through to other parts of the man’s system.
As prostate cancer cells metastasize through the bloodstream and the lymph nodes, it is common to experience some swelling of the nodes; and as the sarcomas finally make it to the bones, the man will begin to complain of bone pain. Bone pain with prostate cancer often starts with the pelvis, but it soon spreads to the thigh bone – femur. The metastatic disease spreads upward through the spinal column and ends up in the ribs, sometimes also reaching the skull.
The symptoms of late stage prostate cancer often include fecal and urinary incontinence, often as a result of pressure of the cancerous cells against the spinal cord when they build up and pile at the base of the spinal column. Often, this also causes the patient significant leg weakness so that getting around becomes a problem also. At this stage, the prognosis of the disease if often so bad that the specialists usually don’t hold out a lot of hope for any kind of treatment. It is common for an oncologist to suggest palliative care over anything else for the patient, although that would depend on how far exactly the cancer has advanced and how old the patient is.
The trick is never to allow prostate-cancer to advance to the late stages. All men are prone to having the disease, and are particularly more at risk as they get older. In the United States in particular, up to eighty percent of men who make it to seventy years old might have prostate cancer before they die. As such, do yourself a favor and don’t wait for the symptoms to appear before you start to seek out a medical diagnosis.
Life expectancy for a stage IV prostate cancer patient is often not very encouraging because not only is the cancer believed to not be curable at that stage, it has also been found to be particularly resistant to treatments.
Patients diagnosed with early sage prostate cancer can undergo a radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy to save their lives, but a patient in whom the tumor has had the chance to progress to stage IV of the disease can hardly be saved by either. Radiotherapy may be used as a pain relief alternative to certain medications (or as a compliment), but not as an effective treatment. Therefore life expectancy cannot be good.
In stage four prostate cancer the disease is well out of the prostate gland and is certain to have metastasized to various regions and locations all over the body. Certainly the lymphatic system would be compromised and the lymph nodes would likely be swollen, but the patient will also be experiencing a lot of bone pain by now, especially as a result of bone metastasis of the disease.
In order to effectively determine the extent of disease invasion, treat the condition, and provide a reasonable diagnosis, several tests have to be carried out by the specialist in addition to the initial screening tests - DRE, PSA, and biopsy - that were done. These new tests include an MRI scan, a CT scan, and a ribonucleic bone scan. Piecing all the information together, the urologist or oncologist would be able to provide the needed projection on how long the patient might survive.
Life expectancy for a man with advanced stage prostate cancer is rarely more than five years. As a matter of fact, most cancer specialists offer only three initially, and extend it by two if the patient is still alive by then. Gradually, if the patient continues to live, they continue to add some extra time, figuring that if something is keeping him alive all this time, it might just continue to. Some patients have been known to make it as far as eight years, though, with reasonably good palliation, and a few even further.
Recent studies give us hope
Studies recently published have however suggested that if a patient were to undergo a prostatectomy in advanced stage prostate cancer, his life expectancy could be doubled or even tripled, pushing life for such an unlikely patient to a figure as far out as 14 or 15 years. Naturally, news like this would cause a split right down in the middle of the medical community; and it did, with several doctors wondering if it was worthwhile to keep a patient on palliative care for that long, while others would give it if the patient wanted. When the final results of that one present themselves, time will tell.
So, yes, all hope is NOT lost
Despite all that has been said above about this stage IV prostate cancer, all hope is not lost. You can read the following articles on this Prostate Cancer Victory website, to know why you should NEVER give up, even with this end stage diagnosis:
People who have survived Prostate Cancer
Just as everyday more people are diagnosed with this cancer and many others lose their lives, there are countless more who survive, even the deadly stages. I am talking about common people as well as important celebrities. Like we always say on this website, if others have survived this condition, you can survive it as well: