Prostate cancer starts when cells in the prostate gland grow out of control. Those cells can spread to other parts of the body and affect healthy tissue. This can happen for several reasons.
Early Prostate Cancer Treatment Failure
When prostate cancer is discovered early, treatment usually works. Most men are able to live cancer-free for many years. But sometimes, treatment doesn’t work and prostate cancer can slowly grow. This can happen after surgery or radiation therapy. Sometimes called a chemical recurrence, it is when cancer survives inside the prostate or reappears and spreads to other tissues and organs. The cancer is usually microscopic and grows very slowly. You and your doctor will work together to keep an eye on cancer as it grows.
Because prostate cancer cells usually grow very slowly, some men might not need treatment right away. Your doctor might suggest something called “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance.” Your doctor will still do regular blood tests and exams to keep an eye on your cancer. This plan is usually for men who don’t have symptoms and whose cancer is expected to grow slowly. The risk with this approach is that cancer might grow and spread between checkups. This could limit which treatment you could take and if your cancer can be cured.
When you are diagnosed with cancer, like any medical issue, it is important that you follow your treatment plan. That can mean scheduling regular checkups or, if radiation therapy is part of your regimen, being sure to go to all scheduled radiation visits. If you miss some of them, you may have a greater chance that your cancer will spread. In one study, for example, men who missed two or more sessions during their treatment had a greater chance that their cancer would come back. That was even though they eventually finished their course of radiation.
Noticing any signs from your prostate health is incredibly important. If you do experience these signs, you should contact your doctor ASAP to get suitable treatment.