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Advanced prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells spread from the prostate gland in men into surrounding tissues or lymph nodes. Some of the most common symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include difficulty urinating, bone pain or fractures, and extreme weakness and fatigue. Unfortunately, there is not currently a cure for advanced prostate cancer, although there are several treatment options available to help slow the progression of the disease. Some of the most common treatment methods include chemotherapy drugs, steroid medications, and hormone replacement therapy.
Prostate cancer begins when abnormal cancer cells begin to grow in the prostate gland. If not diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, the cancer cells may continue to grow and spread outside of the prostate gland. When this occurs, the disease is classified as advanced prostate cancer. If left untreated, the cancer may spread into surrounding lymph nodes, then into the bones. From there, the cancer may spread into the rest of the body.
Extreme fatigue, weakness, and difficulty urinating are often among the first noticed symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. This frequently occurs after the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes. If the disease spreads further and affects the bones, bone pain may occur. This also puts the patient at a higher risk for spontaneous bone fractures and a loss of bone density commonly referred to as osteoporosis.
Hormone therapy is one of the most frequently used methods of treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Hormone treatments are designed to slow the progression of the disease, although this treatment method may not work for an extended period of time, often requiring the use of additional treatment methods. Some of the most common side effects or hormone therapy include osteoporosis, lowered sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and a loss of fertility.
Additional treatment methods for advanced prostate cancer may include the use of chemotherapy drugs or steroids. Chemotherapy drugs are medications which contain chemicals designed to slow the progression of the disease as well as destroy cancer cells. These drugs are sometimes combined with steroid medications in an effort to obtain faster and more complete results. There is also a vaccine available which may help to prolong the life of the patient for several months, or even years. Any questions or concerns about the most beneficial treatment options for advanced prostate cancer on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.