What is Advanced Prostate Cancer?
Everyone’s prostate cancer story is different—but treatment goals remain the same
There are thousands of men, just like you, who are fighting prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. One of the reasons it may have spread is because your cancer is no longer responding to therapies aimed at lowering testosterone. The medical term for this condition is metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
When prostate cancer spreads to your bones, a treatment change may be necessary.
It is important to know that even if the cancer has spread to your bones and you may no longer have a prostate, it is still considered prostate cancer, not bone cancer.
Your doctor may also refer to advanced prostate cancer as “metastatic” or “late-stage” disease. It may also be referred to as “mCRPC.”
How you and your doctor can monitor your disease
If your doctor suspects prostate cancer has spread to your bones, tests such as a
bone scan, checking ALP levels, or a PSA test should be considered. ALP is a substance that may be released into the bloodstream when bones break down. High levels of ALP give your doctor a better idea if your disease has spread to bone.
PSA tests screen for prostate cancer but are also an important tool for men with the disease to determine how their cancer is reacting to treatment. Changes in your PSA levels may be a sign that your disease is advancing. In advanced prostate cancer, PSA tests alone should not be used to determine long-term outcomes, like living longer.
There are many signs and symptoms of advanced prostate cancer that you may confuse for aging or general wear and tear. You know your body better than anyone. Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty moving
- Problems with your posture
Be open and honest with your doctors. This will help them figure out if a treatment change or an additional therapy is the right approach for you.
Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride) injection is used to treat prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone and has spread to your bones with symptoms, but not to other parts of your body. The medical term for this condition is metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, or mCRPC.
Important Safety Information
Do not take Xofigo if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Xofigo can harm your unborn baby. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not come in contact with Xofigo without protection, such as gloves.
Before taking Xofigo, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- have bone marrow problems. Xofigo can cause your blood cells counts to go down, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and/or platelets. In a clinical trial, some patients had to permanently discontinue therapy because of bone marrow problems. In addition, there were some deaths and blood transfusions that occurred due to severe bone marrow problems. Your healthcare provider will do blood tests before and during treatment with Xofigo
- are receiving any chemotherapy or another extensive radiation therapy
- have any other medical conditions
While you are on Xofigo:
- make sure you keep your blood cell count monitoring appointments and tell your healthcare provider about any symptoms or signs of low blood cell counts. Report symptoms or signs of shortness of breath, tiredness, bleeding (such as bruising), or infection (such as fever)
- stay well hydrated and report any signs of dehydration (such as dry mouth and increased thirst), or urinary or kidney problems (such as burning when urinating)
- there are no restrictions regarding contact with other people after receiving Xofigo
- follow good hygiene practices in order to minimize radiation exposure from spills of bodily fluids to household members and caregivers for a period of one week after each injection
- use condoms and make sure female partners who may become pregnant use highly effective birth control methods during and for a minimum of six months after treatment with Xofigo
The most common side effects of Xofigo include:
- swelling of the arms or legs (peripheral edema)
- low blood cell counts
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
For important risk and use information about Xofigo, please see the Full Prescribing Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects or quality complaints of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1‑800‑FDA‑1088.