About advanced prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. Each year, about 47,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is usually diagnosed in men aged over 65. Prostate cancer can happen in younger men, but it is uncommon in men aged under 50.

Sometimes prostate cancer grows slowly. It may not cause any problems and not all cancers will need to be treated. Other prostate cancers grow faster and need to be treated to stop them spreading.

Advanced prostate cancer

Advanced prostate cancer is when the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. It is not possible to cure advanced prostate cancer. But there are treatments that can help to keep it under control.

The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. It may also spread to lymph nodes outside the pelvis, or rarely to the liver or the lungs.

Advanced prostate cancer may develop in men who have previously been treated for prostate cancer. This may be many years later. In some men, prostate cancer has already spread to other parts of the body when it is first diagnosed.

The cancer cells usually spread through the blood or through the lymphatic system. When the cancer cells reach a new area of the body, they go on dividing and form another cancer. This is called a secondary cancer or metastasis. But it is still prostate cancer.

Back to Understanding advanced prostate cancer

The prostate

The prostate gland produces semen. It is situated close to the tube, which is called the urethra. Urine and semen leave the body through the urethra.

What is cancer?

There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment.