But right now, it's important to know that you’re not alone and that there are people (including your doctors, nurses, counsellors, your whānau and friends) who will support you the whole way.
To help you process it all, we will:
What is advanced (or metastatic) prostate cancer?When the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, beyond the prostate gland and the immediate surrounding area — it is considered ‘advanced.’
Most commonly, the cancer spreads to the bones, especially in the hips and back. But it can also spread to the lymph nodes in your pelvis and your pelvic tissue, and the abdomen (stomach area). This growth and spreading beyond the prostate is what makes the cancer advanced versus a localised disease that stays contained to the prostate.
Advanced prostate cancer can be:
hormone-sensitive — the cancer has spread to other parts of the body but responds well to hormone therapy.
castration-resistant prostate cancer — the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and it can no longer be slowed down by hormone therapy which gets rid of testosterone from your testicles. You can tell the cancer is castrate-resistant because of a rising PSA level, worsening x-rays or worsening symptoms.
Although it’s not possible to cure advanced prostate cancer, treatments can keep it under control, often for several years. This is because prostate cancer often grows slowly, so your care team will help you manage it over time.