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Life-limiting illness

Stage 4 Prostate Cancer question

14 replies

Strawberry881 · 22/12/2022 20:33

My Dad has stage 4 prostate cancer, he was diagnosed during covid in 2020. We were told it was very aggressive. Recently his condition seems to have worsened and he has a second round of chemotherapy planned very soon.

How much should we be worried?

As there’s no stage 5, stage 6 etc, is there anyway to know what’s happening? He still seems to be eating and going out of the house but I’m not sure how much this is for show eg when visitors come round. He looks fine, you wouldn’t really be able to tell there was much wrong.

My Dad doesn’t say much, always saying he forgot what the doctor told him or he didn’t understand it.

When should we be very worried about this? When certain symptoms appear? Or a certain treatment is offered?

OP posts:
StandUpForYourRights · 22/12/2022 20:40

Is he not having regular appointments at the hospital with scans, blood tests etc?

Strawberry881 · 22/12/2022 21:08

Yes he has lots of scans, appointments etc but he never tells us any results.

Recently been talking about not being here next summer but hard to know whether that’s based on anything medical? Or a gut feeling? I’ve read you can have many rounds of chemotherapy? This is the second round.

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Strawberry881 · 22/12/2022 21:09

Literally all I know is from Google

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GoingtotheWinchester · 22/12/2022 21:11

Cancer is an unpredictable bastard. Do you have a Macmillan Nurse you can speak to?

StandUpForYourRights · 22/12/2022 21:15

That's very sad. He will know all the answers to your questions but seems to want not to tell you, presumably because he wants to protect you. Perhaps a chat explaining how you need to understand more, or as others suggest, speaking to his specialist nurse. Is your DM around to talk to?

Don't Google, go to the cancer research website, the information there will be accurate, UK based and understandable.

Strawberry881 · 22/12/2022 21:21

Thanks everyone.

No, MacMillan nurse has spoken to me but I know my Dad speaks to them sometimes.

ive looked on the cancer websites above but none the wiser really. Stage 4 and ‘the end’ is well explained but none the wiser about what happens in between that :(

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RunLolaRun102 · 22/12/2022 21:24

My uncle had Stage 4 PC and is still alive and healthy 10 years later but survival / prognosis information depends on where it’s spread, your dad’s age, overall health as well as things like PSA markers & Gleason Scores. Don’t want to give you false hope but I went to appointments with my uncle & his consultant was pretty sure he’d be ok after the 10 year mark (and was right).

RunLolaRun102 · 22/12/2022 21:24

has not had. Obvs Pc isn’t cured

Soontobe60 · 22/12/2022 21:25

Cancer deaths can be very different. I’ve known people appear to be managing very well but then rapidly decline and die within days, whilst others have been bed-bound for several weeks.
if I were you, I’d sit down with your dad and ask him to tell you what he’s been told, that your prefer to know now so you can support him. Ask if you could go to his next hospital appointment with him.

StandUpForYourRights · 22/12/2022 21:30

The definition of stage 4 is that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. What happens and how quickly, depends on where the cancer has spread to, and how quickly it is growing and whether it is responding to treatment .

Chemotherapy is a treatment that kills the cancer cells in all parts of the body, and when the cancer stops responding (detected on scans usually), they will change the treatment plan. In some cases, the treatment becomes palliative in nature which is trying to reduce symptoms and make the patient more comfortable rather than trying to achieve remission.

I hope that helps, it cannot be specific to your DF as you do not know any details, but be sure the teams will be monitoring closely and doing everything they can.

Strawberry881 · 22/12/2022 21:52

Thanks everyone very helpful

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RitaSueandBobtwo · 26/12/2022 22:41

I would contact Prostrate Cancer UK for support for you. Unfortunately, your dad may not know as much info as you might think.

DH late 50’’s was sadly diagnosed with PC earlier this year stage 4, its in his bones, he is receiving treatment in the form of tablets, injections and has had Radiotherapy but the Dr won’t tell us anything in terms of how long he has even approximately and any information we receive is very sparse. DH says in the main apart from more trips to the loo, much more urgent trips to the loo, hot flushes and being a bit more tired some days he said he just feels the same as before he received the diagnosis. Take care 💐

Strawberry881 · 27/12/2022 09:29

Sorry to hear you are going through the same thing xxx

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Downstair · 10/02/2023 15:31

I had a friend who was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer (was in his bones and lymph system). Was given a prognosis of a couple of years but lasted >10 in the end.
Treatment varies depending on each case but can be hormone therapy, chemo or radiotherapy. My friend was on hormone therapy for a while until the cancer stopped responding to it, then chemo, then back on hormone therapy and then had other cycles of chemo.

Would your dad be open to having someone attend appointments with him? Its an awful lot to take in. Making a list of questions beforehand, and writing down the answers, can help a lot with organising thoughts. Of course it could be he just doesnt want to share, it is scary.
I would second contacting Prostate Cancer UK, they have specialist nurses he (or you!) can talk to, as well as fellow sufferers who volunteer as counsellors.

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