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What Are Common Advanced Prostate Cancer Symptoms?

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Published on February 2, 2018

What are the common symptoms advanced prostate cancer patients experience? Prostate cancer expert Dr. Tomasz Beer, from the Oregon Health & Science University, joins Patient Power to share what doctors typically see from patients. He also describes the difference between “global” and “local” symptoms. Tune in to stay informed about your condition. 

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power in partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We thank Astellas and Sanofi for their support.

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Transcript | What Are Common Advanced Prostate Cancer Symptoms?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Jeff Folloder:

What are the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer? How do patients present to you? What are they complaining about? 

Dr. Beer:                

So, nowadays, because we monitor patients’ health pretty closely, many patients—even with metastatic prostate cancer when I see them—have relatively few symptoms. 

We see a rising PSA, we see abnormalities on a bone scan with cancer invading the bones, we may see cancer invading lymph nodes or internal organs on a CAT scan, but sometimes, we don’t necessarily see symptoms right away, and our goal with treatment is to keep it that way, if you will. When symptoms develop, they can either be general from the burden of cancer—things like fatigue, diminished energy, weight loss, et cetera—or, they can be very specific due to a particular cancer lesion that’s causing damage.

Bone pain would be the most common example of that, but there can also be, for example, kidney obstruction from lymph nodes in the pelvis, or some other direct pressure on a nerve—things of that nature that can happen. So, there are global symptoms, and then there are local symptoms, but the reality is for many patients, we’re managing advanced cancer even before symptoms develop.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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