Recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society revealed that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.  Most prostate cancer–related deaths are due to advanced disease, which results from any combination of lymphatic, hematogenous, or contiguous local spread. Here’s how your Alamogordo physicians at Alamogordo Urology can help diagnose and treat this disease when you think it might be suspected metastasis of prostate cancer in Alamogordo.
Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells from one organ or site to another. When cancer starts in one part of the body and spreads to other parts, it is called metastatic cancer. This can happen when cancer cells break off from a tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system, where they may travel to other sites. The most common places that cancer will spread are bone, lung, liver, and brain. One way that doctors diagnose prostate cancer is by examining a needle biopsy under a microscope. However, this does not always reveal if prostate cancer has already begun to metastasize.
Metastasis is caused by cancer cells breaking away from a tumor and entering the lymphatic system or bloodstream. These cancer cells can then establish themselves at a new site in the body, where they grow and form tumors. The most common way for prostate cancer to metastasize is through the lymphatic system. It can also spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Studies show that prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the original site has an average five-year survival rate of 97%. However, studies show that those with distant metastases have an average five-year survival rate of 23%.
Metastatic prostate cancer is treated with hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or radiation. Treatment with drugs that block or slow the production of male hormones can help relieve some symptoms and improve the quality of life for men who have advanced prostate cancer. These hormonal treatments are called antiandrogens. The most common antiandrogens are leuprolide acetate (Lupron), goserelin acetate (Zoladex), and flutamide (Eulexin).
Once cancer has spread, it is more difficult to treat, and the prognosis for metastatic prostate cancer is poor. The first line of therapy for metastatic prostate cancer is hormone therapy, which aims to reduce testosterone levels. Hormone therapy may be combined with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, depending on how aggressive the prostate cancer cells are. Treatment is often guided by the stage of cancer at diagnosis. For example, patients with localized prostate cancer that has not yet metastasized are generally treated less aggressively than those whose disease has progressed past this point.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Most prostate cancer-related deaths are due to advanced disease, which results from any combination of lymphatic, hematogenous, or contiguous local spread. By understanding the causes and warning signs, you may be able to prevent metastasis and live a long life.
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