Advanced Cancer Prostate Symptom, Treatment and Prognosis

Even though early stage prostate cancer does not have any symptoms worth writing home about, advanced prostate cancer is in an entire league of its own. The progressive adenocarcinoma can spread to various parts of the body way beyond the primary prostate gland and cause a lot of symptoms in addition to the ones initially caused when the tumor started to metastasize out of the prostate.

The most common symptom of advanced prostate cancer is bone pain. This bone pain is due to the metastasis of the disease into the skeletal system all across the body, with preferred sites in the vertebrae, pelvis and ribs. Another commonly affected bone in the body by advanced metastatic prostate cancer is the femur (thigh bone), often in the proximal part of the bone. Further advances of the disease may cause the cells to deposit in the spine and begin to compress the spinal cord, leading to further complications like leg weakness and incontinence – both urinary and fecal.

The treatment of advanced prostate cancer, for the record, is merely for palliation and not for cure. Perhaps sometime in the future, when some miracle cancer cure is found, they would be able to treat and cure advanced stage prostate cancer, but that day is not today.

Today advanced prostate cancer cannot be cured. All they can do is slow down the progression of the disease with either or both of hormonal therapy and chemotherapy, provide pain relief with radiotherapy or opioid pain relievers, and find a way to prolong the life of the patient while also sustaining a reasonable quality of life.

The prognosis for advanced prostate cancer is about five to eight years, but a lot depends on how aggressive the cancer is, how advanced it is by the time of detection, and the patient’s general state of health, which goes quite a long way to help determine which treatments may be available to the patient. Men with early stage disease have a 93 percent survival rate at ten years, and a 77% at fifteen; and several of them (are hoped) will survive to the twenty year mark.

When it is late stage or advance prostate cancer like this, the prognosis drops sharply. Several doctors will not even give the patient further than three years to live unless the patient has already outlived that time span, at which point they might commence to extend the life expectancy of the man.

The problem with waiting for the symptoms is that they generally come when the cancer is quite advanced, and may no longer be curable. To that end the medical community has instituted a lot of improved screening programs, especially to help with people who are at increased risk of the disease.

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