Stage 4 is the most advanced and severe form of prostate cancer. Once prostate cancer spreads outside of the prostate, it is considered to have to reached this stage. While some cancers go undetected until this stage, most cases are discovered earlier because of the warning signs.
Most people are already undergoing treatment when they reach this stage, making it even harder to find the right solution. Stage 4 prostate cancer survival rates are very low, but treatments at least extend a patient’s life and control their symptoms.
Signs your cancer has reached this advanced stage include:
Since the tumors in stage 4 prostate cancer have spread to the lymph nodes and other organs, surgery is no longer an option for removing all the tissue. Radiation is primarily used, but it’s rarely enough to save the patient’s life and is usually considered palliative care to reduce pain instead.
Most medications are prescribed to prevent nausea, pain, and other symptoms that come with organ damage. People with stage 4 prostate cancer have a less than 10% chance of five year survival, so a diagnosis warrants a serious conversation about hospice care and end-of-life arrangements.