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    Can Colon Cancer spread to Prostate?
    Harle0214 posted:

    Question #1: My dad has been fighting Stage 4 colon cancer for 2 years now. In just the recent year the cancer is winning. It started in colon and has now spread to liver, lungs & spine. My question is this, can colon cancer spread to the prostate? He has been experiencing many of the symptoms of prostate cancer in recent weeks & I'm now worried that it may have spread again. I know it doesn't sound right that it could spread that fast, but believe me when I tell you that nothing about this cancer is normal when detected too late. It seems every 3 months he's got 3 new spots everywhere & old spots are going from mm size to cm size. So, if anyone can help answer this, I would appreciate.

    Question #2: If anyone has gone through the above with a loved one or friend, how long did they last? I know no one ever wants to have this question answered, but before I hear my dad out on funeral arrangements, I'd like to see if it's a conversation I should be having with him now.

    Thank You.
    SojournerNej responded:
    I know it has been months since you posted this, and I am not sure where you are on your journey with your dad.

    To the best of my knowledge,
    1. Metastasis of colorectal cancer to the prostate is not common, as in spread of cells though the system. However, with aggressive cancer like you have described, it is very possible that the cancer would grow directly through the wall of the colon and into organs that are nearby. The prostate is very close to parts of the terminal colon and may be prone to having cancer grow into it. Also, even if the cancer of the colon has not grown through the wall, it may be causing symptoms just by pushing on the prostate or bladder because of rapid growth and what is know as "mass effect."

    It's also important to realize that without medical examination and diagnosis, prostate cancer cannot be automatically assumed because its symptoms look the same as many other possible causes. For example, in gentlemen older than forty, enlargement of the prostate (BPH) is very normal and is still a possible cause in those with other health problems and diagnoses. Also, considering the depressed immune system of most who suffer from cancer, it is important to be aware of the increased likelihood of infection. Urinary/prostate symptoms are often caused by chronic or acute inflammation. Symptoms are especially suspicious of infection if they appear somewhat suddenly or if there is also pain with urination, blood seen in the urine, or other general signs of infection such as fever.

    If infection is suspected, or if urinary symptoms are causing pain or major difficulty, medical treatment should be sought immediately. When symptoms are limited to such as urinary frequency, hesitancy, and dribbling, the situation likely does not need to be considered urgent, but should be brought up with a physician.

    2. As I said, I don't know what your dad's situation is at this point, but no matter what, cancer is a very difficult thing to have to deal with and the death of a loved one is a very scary thing to have to think about or talk about. Unfortunately, the predictability of survival time with any type of cancer is essentially impossible. Doctors try to make predictions based on standard trends, but the prognosis is wrong more often than not.

    Generally, cancer patients with advanced disease are treated to slow progression of disease and to increase comfort. When cure is no longer an expected possible outcome, the person will likely have good and bad days that either gradually or rapidly progress to more and more bad days. When the person with cancer is requiring very large amounts of pain killers to subdue pain, is conscious for small amounts of time, is no longer eating or drinking much, begins talking about things that don't make sense to you, or is seeing things or people that are not there, then death could be within days or hours. Some people go through this normal dying process for weeks. At this point, it is important to realize that a loved one will often be confused, but that they may still be able to hear and understand a lot and be comforted by music or loved ones speaking of good times or forgiveness.

    Despite having an idea of when death may be near, it is actually very important to discuss end-of-life care, personal decisions, and legal documents long before you think death is around the corner. It is not an easy discussion, but because each person's course is so hard to define, you must take action sooner than later. This is true even when there is no disease and regardless of age. Realize that it is healthy to approach the topic and that emotion is very acceptable between loved ones when discussing end-of life issues. If hospice is involved, they usually have people who can help you think about what needs to be discussed and when.

    Also, I do highly recommend involving hospice in the care of loved ones who are considered terminal. People often are much for comfortable and happy with the extra help.

    All the best to you,


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