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Mindfully Approaching stage 4 prostate cancer & bone metastases

stage 4 prostate cancer

Prostate cancer and bone metastases

Prostate cancer prognosis and life expectancy with bone metastases depend on various factors, including the stage of cancer, the extent of the spread, the patient’s overall health, and their response to treatment.
When prostate cancer spreads to the bones, it is known as bone metastasis. Bone metastases are a common occurrence, especially in stage 4 prostate cancer, and can cause significant pain and complications.

Prostate cancer signs and symptoms

• Difficulty urinating or inability to urinate
• Blood in the urine or semen
• Erectile dysfunction
• Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or thighs
• Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
• Loss of bladder or bowel control
• Unexplained weight loss
• Fatigue or weakness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Bone pain or fractures

Bone metastases signs and symptoms

  • Bone pain
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Weakness in the legs or arms
  • High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, and Confusion
  • Predisposing to pathological fractures
  • Spinal cord compression and related paresthesias or motor deficits
  • Restricted range of motion or pain in the hip, thighs, or vertebral column

These symptoms may result in substantial discomfort and functional disability. Spinal cord compression may lead to neuropathy, causing muscle weakness or paralysis, and limb or truncal sensory loss.

As cancer replaces normal bone, higher blood calcium levels may occur. This may result in:

  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion
  • Abdominal pain


There is no cure for metastatic prostate cancer at this time, but new treatments are extending life beyond what was previously possible.

Your life expectancy and outlook over the long term will generally be affected by factors like:

  • Age.
  • Overall health, as well as any other conditions you may have.
  • The extent of the tumor’s metastases.
  • The grade of the tumor.
  • Your Gleason score for prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
  • The types of prostate cancer you have.

Your response to the treatments you have Prostate cancer and its treatments can affect men in different ways. Some patients will benefit more from certain treatments than others. You will be able to talk with your doctor about your long-term outlook. Planning for the future can benefit from this.

The prognosis for prostate cancer patients with bone metastases is generally poorer than for those without bone involvement.

Statistical data

A clinical study was conducted in Denmark and the following data was published:

stage 4 prostate cancer

Worldwide, some general statistics on prostate cancer prognosis and life expectancy with bone metastases:
• The 5-year survival rate for prostate cancer patients with bone metastases is around 34%.
• The median survival time for prostate cancer patients with bone metastases is around 2 to 3 years.
• Patients with single bone metastasis may have a better prognosis than those with multiple metastases.

It’s important to note that these statistics are general and may not apply to every individual case. The best way to determine prognosis and life expectancy is to work with a doctor who can evaluate your specific situation and recommend appropriate treatment options.

A complication of bone metastases is referred to as skeletal-related events (SREs). The Canadian Urological Association Journal Trusted Source defines SREs as situations in which bone metastases:

  • Cause bone fractures that necessitate surgical treatment radiation for pain or imminent fracture treatment
  • Cause compression of the spinal cord.

How are Bone metastases treated?

Bone metastases from prostate cancer can be treated with a variety of approaches, including:

  • Medications can relieve pain and reduce fractures caused by bone metastases. Denosumab and corticosteroids are commonly used.
  • Radiation therapy can reduce pain, strengthen bones, and prevent fractures. It can be delivered externally or internally.
  • Surgery can stabilize weakened bones or treat fractures.
  • Chemotherapy is not very effective in treating bone metastases from prostate cancer but may be used with other treatments.
  • Hormone therapy like abiraterone and enzalutamide can slow the growth of cancer cells and reduce pain and symptoms from bone metastases.
    Use of vaccines and immunotherapy: Sipuleucel-T
  • Use of bisphosphonates, a class of medications that lower calcium levels and lower the risk of SREs.
  • Use of Ablation Therapy, where thermal energy is used to heat or cool tissue to cytotoxic levels (less than −40°C or more than 60°C).
  • Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which slows the growth of cancer by lowering testosterone levels, works.

Treatment for bone metastases depends on location, extent, overall health, and other factors. A team including oncologists, radiologists, and surgeons will work together to develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual.

What are the side effects of treatment

  • Treatment for bone metastases can cause pain.
  • Fatigue is a common side effect of bone metastases treatment.
  • Chemotherapy drugs used to treat bone metastases can cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Bone metastases treatment can lead to loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Chemotherapy drugs used to treat bone metastases can cause hair loss.
  • Bone metastases treatment can cause diarrhea or constipation.
  • Weakness is a common side effect of bone metastases treatment.
  • Chemotherapy drugs used to treat bone metastases can increase the risk of infection.
  • Radiation therapy used to treat bone metastases can cause skin changes.

Possible side effects of bisphosphonate

  • Bisphosphonates can cause bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Bisphosphonates can increase the risk of fractures in the thigh bone.
  • Bisphosphonates can cause rare but serious side effects such as osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical fractures of the femur.
  • Bisphosphonates can cause low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia).
  • Bisphosphonates can cause allergic reactions such as hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
  • Bisphosphonates can cause eye problems such as inflammation of the eye or blurred vision.

Positive Outlook

  1. The medical community has made incredible strides in improving the life expectancy for men with stage 4 prostate cancer. These advancements include:
  2. New drugs have been developed that can help extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.
  3. Precision medicine techniques, such as genetic testing and molecular profiling, can lead to more personalized and targeted treatments.
  4. Improved screening techniques, such as the PSA test and MRI, can detect prostate cancer earlier when it may be more treatable.
  5. Multidisciplinary care involving a team of healthcare professionals can help develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to each patient’s needs.
    These advances offer hope and new treatment options for men even with stage 4 prostate cancer, although individual outcomes may vary.


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Navjot Singh
I'm an independent healthcare analyst with a passion for exploring and researching overall well-being. From cutting-edge medications to time-tested traditions, I delve into various perspectives. My extensive analysis covers health, alternative treatments, nutrition, fitness, herbs, and parenting. Every write-up on Bloomposts is churned thoroughly from authentic & published mediums. My aim is to provide valuable information for those who seek it. Now, let's dive into the articles - I hope you find them enjoyable and valuable.

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