Prostate Cancer, also referred to as prostatic carcinoma, is one of the most common types of cancer in men. The cancerous cells are found in the prostate of a man, which is a small gland that produces seminal fluid responsible for nourishing and transporting sperm. This type of cancer becomes advanced when it has aggressively spread to other parts of the body.
Just like any type of cancer, the earlier it is detected; the better. Some Prostate cancers grow slowly and only require minimal treatment. Slow growth means the cancer has yet to spread beyond the prostate gland which avoids causing serious harm. But other types of prostate cancers are aggressive and spread quickly. Prostate Cancer can be treated to help slow the progression, but is not considered curable.
The most common risk factor is age, but all men are at risk of prostate cancer
It is important to note that Prostate caner may cause no symptoms in early stages.
Blood in the urine and/or semen
Decreased force in the stream of urine
Sudden loss of weight
Sudden fatigue and feeling weak
Stages of Prostate Cancer
Early Stages: Stages I & II
This is when the tumor has not spread beyond the prostate.
Locally Advanced: Stage III
This stage is when the Cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby tissue.
Advanced: Stage IV
This is the most aggressive state of the cancer. Stage IV is when the cancer has spread outside the prostate to the lymph nodes, bones, liver, and/or lungs.
Types of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Biochemical Recurrence: this occurs when there is a rise in the blood level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in patients with prostate cancer after they have been treated with surgery or radiation.
Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC): This is when the prostate cancer is quickly spreading even though testosterones levels are low from hormone therapy treatment. ADT (Androgen Deprivation Treatment) is used to help lower testosterone that fuels the cancer cells, but in this case, the cancer cells are "outsmarting" the hormone treatment and growing even without testosterone.
Non-Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (nmCRPC): This is the same as CRPC in the sense that it is no longer responding to hormone treatment, except it is only staying in the prostate and not spreading.
Metastatic Prostate Cancer: When the prostate cancer has spread to these areas: lymph nodes outside of the pelvis, bones, and other organs such as liver or lungs.
Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer (mHSPC): This is when the cancer has spread outside of the prostate, but is responsive to hormone therapy (or the patient hasn't received hormone therapy yet). Here, the hormone therapy is successful in lowering the levels of testosterone to reduce the growth of the cancer cells.
Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC): The cancer has spread to other parts of the body and the hormone treatment was not effective. PSA levels keep rising and this is considered aggressive disease progression with the metastatic spots still growing.