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Keeping hope alive when cancer spreads

Learn the basics of metastatic prostate cancer_and what it means for your future.

Provided by HealthMonitor

Have you enjoyed a moment of celebration lately? Seattle resident Bill Curry thinks it's a good idea'and that's despite his Stage IV prostate cancer diagnosis. In fact, Bill celebrated his most recent checkup with champagne and fried chicken'a f?te he'd planned weeks ahead. "It's rejuvenating to celebrate good outcomes, and just setting a goal or celebrating a milestone like finishing treatment can be important," says Bill.

Fortunately, like Bill, you may be celebrating a lot of milestones in the months ahead, thanks in large part to today's advanced treatments. Read on to learn more about your diagnosis'after all, understanding your condition is one of the best steps you can take in ensuring you have many happy, healthy years ahead of you.

What is metastatic prostate cancer?
Stage IV, or metastatic prostate cancer, occurs when cancerous cells break away from the original tumor in the prostate gland and travel through blood or lymph vessels to lymph nodes, organs or tissues in other parts of the body. While most men are diagnosed when cancer is still local and not metastasized, a small percentage is initially diagnosed with Stage IV disease, and some will develop it later after an initial diagnosis showed just early-stage cancer.

Where does it spread?
In Stage IV prostate cancer, malignant cells have moved outside the prostate gland and seminal vesicles (the glands that contain semen) to nearby tissue or organs (such as lymph nodes, rectum, bladder or pelvic wall) or to distant tissue or organs. Most often, these cells target the bones'particularly the hips, spine and ribs'according to the American Cancer Society. Less frequently, prostate cancer spreads to the lungs and liver and, rarely, the brain.

What are the symptoms?
Bone pain, weight loss, swelling in the legs and feet, pelvic discomfort, erectile problems, trouble urinating, and blood in the urine and/or semen.

Can treatment still help?
While Stage IV prostate cancer cannot be cured, it can be treated. Therapies are available that can halt or slow cancer growth, prolong life and ease challenging symptoms such as bone pain, so your quality of life is the best it can be.
Bone Pain Prostate Cancer Blood In Urine Hip Pain Overactive Bladder Pain Weight Loss Prostate Cancer Lose Weight Prostate Enlargement Swelling

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