Advanced Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer that spreads beyond the prostate gland (capsule) is designated as “advanced” prostate cancer. Once outside the capsule, it may disseminate anywhere within the body including lymph nodes, bone, and other organs. There are different designations of advanced prostate cancer, requiring different approaches for treatment.
“Locally advanced prostate cancer” is identified as cancer that spreads outside the prostate gland, but only into adjoining tissue. Because it is still localized, it is generally treated by the removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) and followed with radiotherapy.
“Metatstic” prostate cancer is defined when prostate cancer spreads beyond the prostate gland into lymph nodes, bones or other organs outside the pelvis. Metastatic prostate cancer cannot be cured, therefore, the goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, and help patients live longer.
Several treatment options are available and are tailored depending on how far the cancer has spread from the prostate, and how rapidly it is growing.
- Surgery may be scheduled to remove the prostate (prostatectomy) or the testicles (orchiectomy). Although, surgery is rarely recommended at this stage.
- Immunotherapy is oftentimes used to boost the immune system of the patient.
- Bone-targeted therapy may be indicated for patients using hormone therapy in order to strengthen and protect their bones during cancer treatment.
- Chemotherapy is indicated to help kill cancer cells ─ particularly rapidly spreading cells ─ to slow cancer growth, and to reduce symptoms.
- Radiation therapy is used as a targeted therapy to kill tumors while protecting nearby healthy tissue and cells.