Prostate Cancer | Lesson 2: Prostate Cancer
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What is Metastatic Prostate Cancer?

  • Metastatic prostate cancer is cancer that has spread form the site of cancer origin (primary tumour) to other parts of the body.
  • Metastatic cancer is formed from cancer cells that have broken away from the primary tumour. These cells then travel around the body in the blood or lymphatic system and eventually implant themselves in another part of the body, where they begin to divide and form a metastatic tumour (metastasis).
  • Whilst the metastatic cancer cells will be very similar to the cells of the primary tumour, they will also have slight genetic variations which allow them to survive in a new environment. These variations will influence their behaviour and can have significant consequences for the way they respond to treatment.  

The two most common sites that prostate cancer spreads to are:
1. bones
2. lymph nodes

Once prostate cancer has metastasised it is considered to be incurable.

Because metastatic prostate cancer is no longer isolated in one area, systemic treatment is required, such as hormone therapy and/or chemotherapy. Local treatment no longer has a curative role – instead it is used for symptomatic control e.g. palliative radiotherapy.