Hi, does anyone know how fast prostate cancer spreads? I'm 46 and have had past problems with prostatitis (treated with Cipro), and currently have a flare-up of what I think (hope) may be prostatitis again now. I'm waiting for lab results (PSA, CBC, urinalysis, etc.) and am petrified because I just read that prostate cancer can spread to the hips and pelvis bones. I'm having dull pain in my left hip now that I don't remember experiencing with prostatitis before. It seems like it starts from my testicle and radiates out to the hip, pelvis, and thigh.
Is it reasonable that in the past 8 months (since my last bout with prostatitis, in which symptoms went away while taking Cipro) that cancer could develop and spread? I'm sure I sound like a complete hypochondriac, but I'm really stressing out and am trying to find some reassurance. Thank you for any ideas.
It usually does not spread very fast. I had a similar experience when I was being treated for prostatitis, where I started feeling all sorts of symptoms and linking them to prostate cancer. Most of these symptoms turned out to be unrelated to the prostate.
Having said all that, I later found out that I had localized prostate cancer, as well as prostatitis, and my subsequent treatment appears to have been effective. Make sure you have a very good urologist, one who can sort out the prostatitis from any possible existence of prostate cancer.
Hi Distressed One:
Relax. Prostate Cancer takes years to spread to the bones if untreated or if treatment fails to cure the cancer. Have a urologist examine you, check your PSA and give you a DRE (Digital Rectom Exam). If your PSA is either suspiciously high (over 4) or has spiked since your last PSA test it may well have been caused by the prostatitis which will elevate the PSA. However with prostatitis the PSA returns to baseline levels when the infection has been cured with CIPRO or other appropriate anti-biotic. If the PSA doesn't recede to your baseline level or continues to rise a biopsy may be ordered by your urologist. In the unlikely event you have P.C. there are several effective treatments which can either cure it under the best of circumstances or substantially retard its progress under a less favorable scenario. In any event progression to the bones (hips, pelvis or ribs) still takes many years from onset.
Do see a competent urologist to rule out your worst fears and monitor you in the future.
Gentlemen, thank you for taking the time to respond and trying to put my mind at ease. I really do appreciate it. In most things in life, I am very well thought out, but for some reason, this thing has a grip on me. I have seen my GP and he has me on Cipro -- I've seen only slight improvement since I started taking it 5 days ago. My PSA, CBC, and urinalysis come back this week. My urologist appointment isn't until next week, and in the meantime I am getting really anxious. I've read stories (perhaps too many) on the internet about younger men getting "aggressive" prostate cancers. Plus, from the way I read it descriptions on various medical websites, the lists of symptoms of prostatitis and prostate cancer look the same. It all becomes very confusing and takes on a life of its own. Anyway, thank you again for your comments, and all the best to you.
A follow-up to my previous post. My lab results came back yesterday and everything looked normal according to my doctor. PSA = .46, CBC normal, urinalysis normal. So that has me breathing easier. Next up is the urologist appointment next week. No idea what he'll find, but it seems like things are moving forward.
Hey, that PSA of .46 sounds great. Sounds like you really responded to the Cipro. If the urologist concludes, after your examination, that this last event was most likely an infection, you might be wise to discuss the various ways to minimize the risk of infection in the future.
All Sevens, I'm hoping the PSA score is indicative of a good prognosis. I've read that you can have aggressive prostate cancers with low PSA scores. One website said they had treated a man with a very aggressive prostate cancer who had a PSA of less than .5. Have you heard this as well? Just when I thought I could breathe easier...
Also, you mentioned that you had both prostatitis and prostate cancer. Was your doctor treating you for prostatitis, and then the cancer was found? How old were you at the time? I'm glad to hear that they caught it early enough that the treatment was a success.
I was 51 when I started having problems with prostatitis. It showed up as a jump in PSA from 1.4 to about 6 (during a two year period between PSA tests). I thought for sure that I had aggressive prostate cancer. My first "urologist" was incompetent-- he neglected to do a prostate fluid culture, and he prescribed antibiotics for too short of a time period. When my PSA continued to climb as high as 13, I changed urologists. Over the next few years, I had several fluid cultures taken, underwent two more courses of antibiotics, and had my PSA checked every 6 months. My PSA got as low as 2.1, but never reached the original baseline. Even though my DRE was continually normal, my urologist eventually recommended a biopsy. By this time, I was 55 years old. The biopsy was positive in two of the eight cores, Gleason grade 6 cancer. The surgery went well, and the surgical margins were free of cancer.
In the very very remote chance that you have an aggressive form of cancer, it would most likely show up in your upcoming DRE. You've got to be careful about what you read on the internet. If you read about the very rare cases, and then stew on it, that's a recipe for high anxiety. I think you'd be much better off reading Dr. Patrick Walsh's Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer, which is a great book for men, whether or not you have the disease. After reading this book, I felt much more solid about my knowledge regarding prostate health. This book also offers very good criteria for selecting a urologist. By the way, the first "urologist" I mentioned was eventually disciplined for being under the influence of alcohol during a medical procedure.
Thank you so much for responding. Wow, I'm sorry to hear you had such a time with your first urologist. Sounds like he didn't have his eye on the road. I'm glad you found someone competent.
You are right about trying to do research on the internet. I'm totally stressing myself out over this, to the point of losing sleep and not being myself. I'm trying to calm down, but my mind keeps obsessing on the articles I've read about prostate cancer patients with low PSAs, and the fear that I may be one of the few cases.
To your point about the DRE: I had one last week by the PA who works with my doctor, and he said it felt boggy, but otherwise normal. Next week I see the urologist, and I'm hoping he will determine the same. The Cipro seems to be quelling the ache in my testicle and rear end somewhat, but I still have a mild ache in my hip and down my thigh. I'm hoping and praying this is only prostatitis.
Thanks again for your response. Your insight has been very helpful.
I went through several periods of anxiety and insomnia. For the anxiety, I found great relief by talking about my fears with a therapist. This therapist also used hypnosis to bring me back to "center". For the insomnia, I started working out at a 24-hour gym. Whenever I woke up and could not get back to sleep, I'd just jump in the car and drive to the gym... do something aerobic, lift some weights, and then hang out under the stars in their outdoor hot tub. Both of these therapies worked wonders. I came to the conclusion that it is better to do something than stew about something.
Best wishes for your next appointment. I think you are going to be just fine.
Hi All Sevens, thanks again for your words of encouragement this past week. I had a full physical with my GP yesterday. He decided that, given my DRE ("boggy, no nodules") and low PSA -- plus the fact that my symptoms are beginning to dissipate somewhat -- he wants to keep me on the Cipro and anti-inflammatories for another week or so to see how I do. At that point, we'll decide whether a trip to the urologist is necessary. I think I'm comfortable with this, especially because the pain is beginning to subside (along with my anxiety.) Again, thanks for your thoughts. Hope all is well with you.