Stage 4 Prostate Cancer

1 What is Stage 4 Prostate Cancer?

Stage 4 prostate cancer is cancer that grows into nearby tissues and organs penetrating them.

Stage 4 prostate cancer is uncommon to diagnose because all prostate cancers are diagnosed early.

Treatment may slow or shrink an advance prostate cancer, but for most of them stage 4 prostate cancers aren’t curable.

Still treatments can extend the life span.

2 Symptoms

Symptoms of stage 4 prostate cancer include the following:

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3 Causes

Doctors aren’t certain what causes stage 4 prostate cancer.

Stage 4 prostate cancer grows big enough to involve nearby organs and tissues such as bladder.

This happens when the cancer cells break from the prostate gland and escape in the blood stream to other parts of the body.

The cancer cells most often travel to lymph nodes, liver and bones.

4 Making a Diagnosis

If your doctor suspects prostate cancer, certain tests might be considered for the diagnosis. These tests include:

  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as ultrasonography, Magnetic resonance imaging, Computerized tomography and Positron emission tomography are done to establish the diagnosis.
  • Biopsy: Atissue sample from the affected area is taken and examined by the pathologist under microscope for better understanding of the tumor.

5 Treatment

Several treatments exist for stage 4 prostate cancer that may slow the cancer and extend your life. 

Hormone therapy

It includes blockage of male hormone testosterone which helps in the growth of cancerous cells. Hormone therapy might be used alone or after radiation therapy or surgery.

Some hormone therapy options include: medications that stop production of testosterone- medications such as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists and antagonist prevent testicles from taking up testosterone.

Surgery to remove testicles(orchiectomy)

Removing the testicles which is testosterone producing organ will reduce the levels of testosterone in the body. Medications block testosterone from reaching cancer cells- medications such as anti-androgens prevent the testosterone from reaching the cancer cells. Side effects of hormone therapy include

  • loss of erectile function,
  • weight loss,
  • hot flashes,
  • loss of bone mass reduce sex drive,
  • breast enlargement
  • and weight gain.

In certain situations, surgery is recommended over conservative therapy some of the options are:

  • Radical prostatectomy - removal of prostate gland and any cancer that has grown locally beyond the prostate.
  • Lymph node removal – doctor will recommend removal of affected lymph nodes to stop further spreading of cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy- high powered beams of energy such as X-rays to kill cancer cells. These energy beams are directed around the area of prostate gland.

Treatments to cure cancer which spread to the other regions of body:

  • Chemotherapy- chemotherapy will reduce the signs and symptoms, reduce the growth of cancer cells and prolong the lives of men with prostatic cancer.
  • Immunotherapy- immune system is trained to target cancer cells and kill them thus resulting in slowing spreading of cancer.
  • Bone building medications- medications used to treat osteoporosis are helpful to reduce the risk of breaking bones.
  • Pain killers- cancer pain is cured by analgesics which can reduce pain and make life easier for prostatic patient.

6 Prevention

Stage 4 Prostate Cancer can’t be prevented. Some steps can be taken to reduce the risk of acquiring cancer of prostate gland such as:

  • reducing the dose,
  • time and increasing the distance from source of radiation. 

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Alternative remedies which are helpful to treat some symptoms of stage 4 prostate cancer are as follows:

  • complementary treatments that may reduce cancer pain include:

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with stage 4 prostate cancer.

Learn enough about stage 4 prostate cancer to make decisions about personal care.

Keeping relationships with family and friends strong will provide emotional support to make a person mentally active and strong.

Support groups exists these days. Active participation in online forums and visiting support center once in a while will help reduce the mental stress.

9 Risks and Complications

There are several risks and complications associated with stage 4 prostate cancer.

Genetics play an important role in the cancer development.

Factors that may increase risk of acquiring prostate cancer are:

  • A family history of prostate cancer.
  • Men with certain inherited gene mutations have higher risk of prostate cancer.
  • African American race - black men have an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. 
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