Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer
Castration-resistant prostate cancer is a type of prostate cancer that usually develops during treatment for metastatic disease.
Prostate cancer can spread to other organs or lymph nodes outside of the pelvic area. This is called metastatic prostate cancer. The tumours in other organs or lymph nodes are called metastases. Your doctor may recommend treating metastatic disease with hormonal therapy.
Hormonal therapy either stops the production or blocks the action of androgens. This is known as castration. When effective, hormonal therapy stops the growth of the tumour. This effect will not last and leads to castration-resistant prostate cancer. This generally happens 2-3 years after hormonal treatment started. Castration-resistant prostate cancer cannot be cured.
Castration-resistant prostate tumours need much lower levels of androgens to progress. This means that even when your body produces almost no androgens, the tumour and metastases continue to grow. These cancers are called castration-resistant, because they no longer respond to hormonal castration treatment.
In this type of cancer, the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood rises again. The doctor will diagnose castration-resistant prostate cancer if 3 tests in the space of 3 weeks show an increase in the PSA level in your blood. It can also be diagnosed if you experience symptoms caused by the growing tumour or metastases.
Research on castration-resistant prostate cancer is ongoing and treatment options change quickly. This section addresses different treatment options, which you should discuss with your doctor.
This section offers general information, which is not specified to your individual needs. Keep in mind that individual recommendations may depend on your country and health care system.