Advanced prostate cancer

Advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer is cancer that has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body. It develops when prostate cancer cells move from the prostate to other parts of the body through the blood stream or lymphatic system.

Prostate cancer can spread to any part of the body, but most commonly to the bones. More than four out of five men (80 per cent) with advanced prostate cancer will have cancer that has spread to their bones.

Another common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the lymph nodes (sometimes called lymph glands). Lymph nodes are part of your lymphatic system and are found throughout your body. Some of the lymph nodes are in the pelvic area – near the prostate.

Advanced prostate cancer can cause symptoms, such as fatigue (extreme tiredness), bone pain and problems urinating. Some treatments for advanced prostate cancer, including hormone therapy and chemotherapy, can help to relieve or reduce symptoms. There are also specific treatments to help manage symptoms.

It's not possible to cure advanced prostate cancer, but treatments can keep it under control, sometimes for several years.

Speak to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions about treatments or have any symptoms. You can also speak to our Specialist Nurses over the phone or online.

Treatments for advanced prostate cancer

 

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy helps control prostate cancer by stopping the hormone testosterone from reaching the prostate cancer cells. It does not cure cancer but can keep it under control, sometimes for several years. It can also help to manage symptoms. You might have hormone therapy on its own, or with other treatments such as radiotherapy or brachytherapy.

Find out more about Hormone therapy

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to kill the cancer cells. It won’t get rid of your prostate cancer, but can help to control or delay symptoms, and helps some men to live longer. You may have chemotherapy alongside other treatments such as hormone therapy, steroids, radiotherapy for advanced cancer and bisphosphonates.

Find out more about Chemotherapy

Abiraterone

Abiraterone (Zytiga®) is a new type of hormone therapy for men whose prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body (advanced prostate cancer) and has stopped responding to other hormone therapy treatments. It is used to help control symptoms and not to cure prostate cancer.

Find out more about Abiraterone

Clinical trials

If you have prostate cancer, you might have the chance to take part in a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a type of medical research. It aims to find new and improved ways of preventing, diagnosing, treating and controlling illnesses. Clinical trials test medicines, medical procedures or medical equipment. People are involved in a controlled and carefully planned way. This is the best way of finding out whether a new treatment is better than the current standard treatment.

Find out more about Clinical trials

Bisphosphonates

Bisphosphonates are drugs that can be used to treat men whose prostate cancer has spread to the bones and is no longer responding to hormone therapy. They do not treat the cancer itself but they can help to relieve bone pain. Bisphosphonates may also help to prevent and slow down the breakdown of bone.

Find out more about Bisphosphonates