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What is Metastatic Prostate Cancer?

What is Metastatic Prostate Cancer?

Cancer that started in the prostate but has spread to other parts of the body is known as “metastatic prostate cancer”1

For most men, prostate cancer is a disease that can be well managed: in fact, prostate cancer may not return for many years, if at all. In some cases, prostate cancer does return, and when it does, the cancer may spread to other parts of the body.1,2

Metastatic prostate cancer can be described as cancer that has spread beyond the prostate to other parts of the body. Your doctor may say that the cancer has metastasized or that you have metastatic disease.1

Types of Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Where has the cancer spread? What is making it grow? These questions help determine the type of cancer you have.

When your PSA is rising but the cancer does NOT appear outside of your prostate

…this is known as Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer (Rising PSA). In some cases, even after treatment, a man’s PSA can rise even with NO evidence that the cancer has spread outside of the prostate.3


When the cancer has spread through the prostate

…this is known as Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer. In this case, the cancer has expanded to fill the prostate or it has spread through the prostate and may have worked its way into the glands close by that help produce semen (called the seminal vesicles). The cancer may have also spread over to the bladder.3

Prostate Seminal

When the cancer has spread but appears to be under control after reducing the level of male hormones

…this is known as Hormone-Sensitive Metastatic Prostate Cancer. Cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bone, lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Through the depletion of the male sex hormone, testosterone, and the use of medications, improvement in the man’s urinary function and pain control can be achieved.3

Prostate Seminal
Bladder Urethra Bone

When the cancer continues to grow, despite a man having undetectable levels of testosterone in their system

…this is called metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC), also known as “advanced prostate cancer”. mCRPC is prostate cancer that has continued to grow, even after the “fuel” for the cancer (male hormones) has been reduced to very low levels.3

Prostate Seminal
Bladder Urethra Bone Lungs

Taking A Closer Look: What is metastatic disease? And where does the cancer spread to?

Metastatic cancer means that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate to other parts of the body.

Some of the symptoms that men with metastatic cancer may experience include bone pain, weight loss, and swelling in the legs and feet.5

Common areas that the cancer may go to include:4

Brain Lungs Liver Bones Lymph

Uncommon locations that the cancer may spread to include:4

Breasts Eyes Pancreas Spleen Adrenal
Kidneys Muscles

“I have so many questions about my cancer!”

Do you want to have a conversation with your doctor, but are you not sure where to start? Review and download our questionnaire toolkit here.


  1. Canadian Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer: Understanding Your Diagnosis Brochure. Online. Available at:
  2. One For the Boys. Prostate Cancer. Online. Available at:
  3. Urology Care Foundation. Advanced Prostate Cancer. Online. Available at:
  4. Mayo Clinic. Prostate cancer metastases: where does prostate cancer spread? Online. Available at:
  5. WebMD. Prostate cancer health center. Online. Available at:

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