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- What is locally advanced prostate cancer?
- Symptoms of locally advanced prostate cancer
- Causes of locally advanced prostate cancer
- Diagnosis of locally advanced prostate cancer
- Staging and grading of locally advanced prostate cancer
- Treatment for locally advanced prostate cancer
- After locally advanced prostate cancer treatment
- How we can help
Locally advanced prostate cancer is when the cancer has grown through the capsule that surrounds the prostate. It may have started to spread into tissue or organs close by. The results of your tests help tell your doctor the stage of the cancer and if it is locally advanced.
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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It is usually diagnosed in men over 65. Prostate cancer can affect younger men, but it is uncommon in men under 50.
We have more information about the risk factors of prostate cancer.
Men who have symptoms usually begin by seeing their GP. The first tests used to diagnose prostate cancer are:
Your GP may refer you for other tests at the hospital:
Trans-rectal ultrasound scan (TRUS) biopsy
Multi-parametric MRI scan
Some men may have a special scan called a multi-parametric MRI scan to decide if they need another biopsy. In some hospitals they may do this scan first to see if a biopsy is necessary in the first place.
PCA3 (prostate cancer antigen 3) test
Most prostate cancers grow very slowly. Even if it takes a couple of weeks to get your results, it is unlikely that the cancer will change during this time.
Waiting for test results can be a difficult time, we have more information that can help.
Further tests after diagnosis
Whether you have any further tests will depend on the risk of the cancer growing quickly. Doctors work out your risk by looking at the PSA level, the stage, and the grade of the cancer.
To help diagnose or stage prostate cancer, you may have staging tests:
The stage of a cancer describes its size and how far it has spread, based on your test results. Doctors often use the TNM staging system or a number staging system.
A doctor decides the grade by how the cancer cells look under the microscope. This gives an idea of how quickly the cancer might grow or spread. You and your doctors can then talk about the best treatment choices for you.
A team of specialists will meet to discuss the best possible treatment for you. This is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT).
Treatments may be able to successfully treat the cancer or help keep it under control for many years.
Your doctor will explain the different treatments and their side effects. They will also talk to you about the things you should consider when making treatment decisions.
There are three main types of treatment:
Hormonal therapies reduce the amount of testosterone in the body. This may slow the growth of the cancer or stop it growing for a while.
Watchful waiting is when you do not have treatment straightaway. Instead your doctors monitor the cancer. If the cancer starts to grow, your doctor will usually recommend hormonal therapy to control the cancer.
Surgery is not commonly used to treat locally advanced prostate cancer. But occasionally it may be used to try to prevent the cancer spreading.
You may also have some treatments as part of a clinical trial.
Find out more about prostate cancer treatments.
You have regular follow-up appointments after treatment. Your doctor usually does a PSA test and sometimes a rectal examination.
You may get anxious before the appointments. This is natural. It may help to get support from family, friends or a support organisation. You can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 000.
After treatment, some men are cured of prostate cancer. But for others, cancer may come back after treatment. If this happens, you may be able to have further treatment.
Sex, relationships and fertility
Prostate cancer treatments can have a direct effect on your sex life and fertility. They can reduce your sex drive (libido) and cause difficulties getting an erection. This is called erectile dysfunction or ED.
Talk to your doctor or nurse about sexual difficulties or concerns. They will be used to talking about these issues.
Well-being and recovery
Even if you already have a healthy lifestyle, you may choose to make some positive lifestyle changes after treatment.
Making small changes to the way you live such as eating well and keeping active can improve your health and well-being and help your body recover.