Take control of your prostate cancer fight

Routine monitoring can help you get the most out of your treatment.

Actions you can take

Measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and imaging are 2 ways your doctor may watch for changes in your prostate cancer.

In fact, PSA testing and imaging have led to early detection of disease spread (metastasis) and the opportunity for improved outcomes.

If you have prostate cancer that has not yet spread to other parts of your body, but is no longer responding to hormone therapy, or if you have prostate cancer that has spread but is still responding to hormone therapy, ask your doctor about regular monitoring and advanced imaging to identify disease progression.


Prostate cancer and PSA

PSA is used to monitor changes in prostate cancer (ie, disease progression).

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a normal protein made by the prostate. In healthy men, some PSA is found in the blood. If PSA levels in the blood are higher than normal, that can be a sign that something is wrong in the prostate. Routine testing of PSA levels helps your doctor know when to order imaging to check for disease progression.

For patients receiving hormone therapy for advanced prostate cancer, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives, recommends regular monitoring of PSA levels.

If PSA levels increase, imaging may be ordered to determine if prostate cancer has spread (metastasized).


PROVENGE and your PSA

Changes in PSA levels are not an indication of how PROVENGE is working for you.

Once your prostate cancer has spread (metastasized), you may benefit from PROVENGE. However, PSA is not a measurement of treatment success or survival outcomes. In the PROVENGE clinical trials, the main goal was not to lower PSA levels—it was to extend life. PROVENGE helped certain men with advanced prostate cancer (men with mCRPC who did not take prescription pain medicine for cancer-related pain) live longer, even when their PSA levels did not decrease. If you have any concerns about your PSA levels, you should share them with your urologist or oncologist.


Talk to your doctor about imaging

Imaging can help determine if prostate cancer has spread (metastasized).

When prostate cancer spreads, or becomes metastatic, it usually moves into the bones. The most common area for metastases is the spine. Imaging of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis provides important information about the spread of prostate cancer. Imaging may include:

Imaging methods

  • X-ray: To visualize the internal structures of a patient, including cancer that has spread to the lungs or ribs
  • Bone scan: To identify cancer in the bones
  • Computed tomography (CT): Uses X-rays to create detailed images. May show if lymph nodes are enlarged or if cancer has spread to the bones
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Uses radio waves and strong magnets to show detailed images of soft tissue and bones. Can provide a clear picture of the prostate and show if the cancer has spread
  • Positron emission tomography (PET): Is very effective at identifying cancer that has spread to the bones
  • Contrast agents can enhance imaging quality
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives, recommends regular imaging for advanced prostate cancer patients.

Along with increasing PSA levels, imaging can help your doctor identify disease spread early, to evaluate if you are a candidate for PROVENGE as the first treatment for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).


A healthy lifestyle for men with prostate cancer

You might be thinking about how you can live a healthier lifestyle. It is important to talk with your healthcare team about any concerns you have about your health, including nutrition, exercise, and your emotions. Below are some questions you may consider asking your healthcare team.

Questions about body weight

  • What is a healthy body weight for me?
  • Where can I get help in achieving or maintaining my healthy body weight?

Questions about diet and nutrition

  • What should my diet consist of while I am on treatment?
  • What are the risks and benefits of adding vitamins and/or nutritional supplements to my diet?
  • Where can I learn more about eating a healthy diet?

Questions about exercise

  • Is it safe for me to exercise during treatment?
  • How much should I exercise?
  • What types of exercise activities might be best for me?

Questions about bone health

  • How might my cancer treatment affect my bones?
  • What can I do to help keep my bones healthy?
  • Where can I learn more about cancer treatment and bone health?

Questions about heart health

  • How might my cancer treatment affect my heart?
  • What can I do to help keep my heart healthy?
  • Where can I learn more about cancer treatment and heart health?

Questions about emotional health

  • What should I do if I’m worried about my cancer or my cancer treatment?
  • How might my mood affect my treatment and overall health?
  • How can I connect with other men with prostate cancer?
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Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Prostate Cancer V.3.2018. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Accessed June 21, 2018. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to NCCN.org. NCCN makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use or application and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way.

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