Prostate Cancer That Spreads to the Brain

Cancer of prostate develops in the prostate gland and typically develops slowly. Advanced prostate cancer could extend to the brain or other body parts. The brain is one of the most common sites of metastasis from solid tumors.

When symptoms of metastatic cancer take place, the type and frequency of the symptoms will rely on the size and location of the metastasis. For instance, cancer that extends to the bones is probable to lead to pain and can cause bone fractures. Cancer that extends to the brain can lead to various symptoms including headaches, seizures and unsteadiness. Shortness of breath might be a sign of lung involvement.

Prostate cancer typically causes no symptoms until it achieves an advanced stage. Sometimes, symptoms close to those of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) develop, including difficulty urinating and a necessity to urinate recurrently or urgently. However, these symptoms do not enlarge until after the cancer develops large enough to compress the urethra and partly block the flow of urine. Afterward, the cancer might lead to bloody urine or a sudden incapability to urinate.

In a number of men, symptoms of prostate cancer develop simply after it spreads (metastasizes). The areas most frequently affected by cancer spread are bone and the kidneys. Bone cancer has a tendency to be painful and might deteriorate the bone enough for it to easily fracture. Cancer of prostate could also spread to the brain, which ultimately leads to seizures, confusion, weakness, headaches, or other neurologic symptoms. After the cancer spreads, anemia is common.

If suspected that prostate cancer spread to the brain or spinal cord, CT or MRI of those organs is done. Brain tumors could directly damage brain cells, or they might indirectly destroy cells by producing inflammation, compressing other parts of the brain because the tumor grows, inducing brain swelling, and causing increased pressure in the skull.

Metastatic brain tumors are classified relying on the precise site of the tumor in the brain, kind of tissue involved, original site of the tumor, and other factors. Rarely, a tumor could extend to the brain, yet the original location or site of the tumor is unknown. This is named cancer of unknown primary (CUP) origin.