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Metastatic prostate cancer

In many cases, prostate cancer cells are less aggressive and grow more slowly than cells found in other cancers. As a result, prostate cancer is often diagnosed before it has had a chance to spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body. In 90 percent of cases, the disease is diagnosed while the cancer is confined to the prostate.

When diagnosed in early stages, prostate cancer is highly treatable. The five-year survival rate for a man diagnosed with prostate cancer is 98 percent. In some cases, however, prostate cancer cells break away from the tumor in the prostate and establish new tumors in other parts of the body. An initial diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer is very rare. When prostate cancer metastasizes, the five-year survival rate drops to 30 percent.

Prostate cancer cells may travel through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream to other areas of the body. Prostate cancer cells most often spreads to the:

  • Bones
  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Brain
  • Lymph nodes outside the pelvis
  • Other organs

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and you’re concerned about prostate cancer metastasis, talk with your doctor about your risk of prostate cancer metastasis and your treatment options. Treatments for metastatic prostate cancer may depend on where in the body the disease has spread. Options include:

In some cases, these treatments are considered palliative, intended to relieve difficult symptoms and improve quality of life.

Integrative care

Treatments for metastatic prostate cancer often cause side effects that may impact your quality of life. Side effects may include:

  • Digestive issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting
  • Pain
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our prostate cancer experts work closely with our integrative care team to anticipate potential side effects and work proactively to address issues so you can better tolerate your treatments. Supportive care services designed to help manage side effects include: 

Learn more about integrative care

Next topic: What are the stages of prostate cancer?