Stage IV Prostate Cancer 2b Prognosis and Treatment

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

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Whether stage IV prostate cancer 2b bone mets, stage IV prostate cancer 2b prognosis or even stage IV prostate cancer 2b mortality, this article looks very closely at the stage of this condition, the prognosis and the treatment options.

Stage IV prostate cancer may very well be considered to be the worst form of the disorder because it is often as far out as the disease will go before things take a turn for the very worst. Stages one through three of the carcinoma involve first the malignancy being so small in the prostate that even a direct rectal examination will not likely see it; and then the tumor being so small that after a DRE, a PSA and eventually a prostate biopsy might be the procedures through which it can be diagnosed; and finally, the tumor may have started to filter into the bloodstream and migrate to other parts of the body.

Stage IV prostate cancer is when the metastasis of the melanoma has reached to about as many other parts of the body as it will, usually invading the lymph nodes and the bones all over the body, reaching out to far out locations and causing pain in the shoulder, ribs, hips and spine, and sometimes hot spots in the skull.

Even the specialists admit that prostate cancer diagnosed in this stage is difficult to cure, and most of the time they focus on palliative care to alleviate symptoms and prolong life. And in some cases, the patient does get to live for several years yet with effective treatment. But sometimes the patient wants to be cured and insists on the best treatments available. In such a case, chemotherapy might simply be the best option. Certain drugs that have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drugs Agency) for just this purpose exist, such as filgrastim and docetaxel, which have the ability to kill cancer cells.

Because late stage prostate cancer of this nature is not considered as curable, the standard treatment for it is hormonal therapy, in which hormone treatments are administered to slow the progression of the disease. Ordinarily, hormonal therapy might even cause such tumors to shrink for a bit, but the progression will likely continue within a short while. While painkillers may be prescribed as well in order to manage bone pain and other such symptoms, dietary changes and some form of exercise are also encouraged. Radiation treatments and surgery are also possible, but most of the time they are reserved for after chemo.

Note, the purpose of receiving cancer treatment is usually to improve symptoms by local control, increase chances of cure, or prolong a patient’s survival. Because stage IV prostate cancer is so far gone, especially in stage IV (D2), treatment is often administered merely to prolong the patient’s survival. Even when you are dealing with Stage IV (D1) of advanced prostate cancer, the potential benefits of receiving treatment has to be carefully balanced with the potential risks of the therapy.

There are treatments for even this late stage being developed as well, you should know, in order to help those who are intent on fighting to the bitter end. New drugs and treatment strategies are indeed evolving, but it will take some more time and some more work before the final word in prostate cancer therapy or cure comes in.

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