Prostate Bone Cancer – A Comparison

August 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

Bone pain is synonymous to both prostate and bone cancers. It occurs as a result of the growth of tumor on the bone, which occurs in both diseases. For prostate cancer, the disease begins with the mutation and uncontrollable multiplication (malignancy) of the cells of the prostate gland and, if left unchecked, and eventual spread of the disease to other parts of the body. For some reason, metastatic cancers appear to have an affinity for the bones in the body, and tend to migrate there through the bloodstream.

It must be why there are two kinds of bone cancers – primary and secondary tumors. Primary bone tumors understandably are tumors that originate in the bone itself, which then may migrate (or metastasize) to other parts of the body; secondary tumors are metastatic cancers from other parts of the body that have come to make their abode on the bone.

It is rather difficult to detect bone cancer before it has spread to other parts of the body, at which point it is quite advanced. Generally it is a slowly growing mass that is not painful to touch but that may cause some discomfort for the patient.

Diagnosing the condition may require all of x-ray examinations to reveal structural changes; radionuclide bone scans to assess active bone formation; computerized axial tomography (CT or CAT) scans to demonstrate enlargement of the cortex of the bone; and arteriography, an x-ray procedure involving the use of dyes to identify affected arteries to help define the extent of the tumor.

However, if all else fail to confirm the disease, there is certainly still the biopsy of the bone, which is sure to show the abnormal cells that are producing unmineralized bone.

Bone cancer metastasis is often though the bloodstream to the lungs, but certainly other parts of the body may be affected as well. Prostate cancer metastasis on the other hand tends to begin with the regions closer to the prostate itself, once the disease starts to spread. The pelvic region is affected first, the lymphatic system next, and then the bones of the spine, the ribs, the thighs, and sometimes even the skull.

Diagnosing prostate cancer has been made relatively easy in recent times due to ever improving screening methods. Today, it is possible to detect prostate cancer before it has fully developed, and even cure the condition then. However, all of that changes when the cancer has spread dangerously to the bones. No longer curable, all that can be done at that time is to provide palliative prostate cancer care for the patient. Treating bone metastasis requires pain relief and anything to slow the progression of the cancer. Treating bone cancer generally requires chemotherapy and radiation, and saving the bone is only possible if metastasis has not occurred yet.

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