When prostate cancer grows and spreads beyond the prostate gland it is described as ‘advanced’. There are three advanced forms of the disease:
- LOCALLY ADVANCED: This is where the cancer has spread to tissue immediately surrounding the prostate. After surgery to remove the tumour, your surgeon may wait three months to test whether the condition remains. Depending on your new PSA test results, the recommended course of action may involve active surveillance, hormone therapy and post-operative radiation to give you the best shot at a cure. Essentially your surgeon or radiation oncologist needs to plan your treatment on an individual basis as there are no 100% certainties in cancer management.
- ADVANCED: This is where tests or scans suggest the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other areas outside the prostate. After your therapy, if your PSA level is still detectable and rising rapidly, your medical specialist and/or General Practitioner may order tests and scans to look for the spread of cancer and locate its position.
- METASTATIC: If scans reveal definite tumour activity outside your prostate this is described as metastatic prostate cancer. Common places for the cancer to spread include the lymph nodes in your pelvis, tissue in and around your pelvis and abdomen, and bones in the hips and back. Hormone and medication therapies may be recommended as your treatment.