Chronic Backache and Prostate Cancer


Chronic Backache Could Be Secondary to Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among males, which is why screenings and timely attention to potential symptoms are very important. This type of cancer can commonly spread outside the prostate area in the hip, pelvis or back regions. Pain in these areas could be a sign of prostate cancer.

In this article, we will link chronic backache with prostate cancer and explain why patients with prostate cancer often suffer from chronic backache.

The connection

The Connection between Chronic Backache and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer can spread to the bones in the prostate area, such as bones in the back. This condition is known as bone metastasis, which is the spread of cancer to the bones and spine. It affects the cells that create new bone. At times, prostate cancer also can affect the normal process in which bones are renewed and broken down. When this happens, the bone may look like it is has been eaten away. Advanced metastatic prostate cancer needs collaboration of care between urologist, oncologist, radiation oncologist, and radiologist.

In a study conducted in 2013, researchers observed five men who reported joint pain at one year, and then again after ten years. The occurrence of prostate cancer was five times higher a year later among men who had back pain . Prostate cancer was about 50% more common among men with back pain ten years later. Many times, patients suffering from metastic disease first present back pain. These patients either have no symptoms related to prostate cancer or ignore these symptoms and get treated just for backache with painkillers or exercise.


Diagnosing Chronic Backache with Prostate Cancer

As the first step in finding out the cause of back pain, your doctor will take an image using an X-ray or a CT scan. A doctor who has already diagnosed you with prostate cancer will look for changes in bone features. The X-ray or CT will then indicate what part of your spine is affected and its intensity. In addition, an MRI can report details of the involvement of the spine and identify whether there is destruction or new bone formation. The Choline C-11 PET scan is the most commonly used innovative test that is first to pinpoint prostate cancer, which has returned after primary treatment- before any other means of detection have been used. Since it is an imaging test, it is quite helpful when other imaging tests fail.

Most people prefer visiting chiropractors when they experience back pain if they don’t have any other symptoms of prostate cancer. Whether you are going to a chiropractor or medical doctor, be sure to provide your complete medical history, since chiropractors are often the first to spot prostate cancer signs. Some doctors will also suggest a digital rectal exam if you are suffering from chronic back pain. This will allow your doctor to feel whether your prostate has an unusual shape or has enlarged. A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test can measure whether the level of enzyme in your blood is higher than expected. Both antigen tests and rectal exams are common if your doctor suspects prostate cancer.


Treating Chronic Backache

1. Medication to Strengthen Bones and Treat Cancer

The objective of treatment is to improve the quality of life or enhance survival. If you have chronic backache secondary to prostate cancer, your doctor has several new drug treatment options to help relieve you of your pain. You are most likely to already be receiving drugs to treat advanced metastatic prostate cancer directly. These include:

- Flutamide

- Degarelix

- Leuprolide

- Relugolix

- Nilutamide

- Darultamide

- Triptorelin

- Histrelin

- Enzalutamide

- Goserline

- Abiraterone

For bone pain, your doctor will recommend bisphosphonates. Since cancer drugs that lower testosterone can weaken bones, doctors prescribe bisphosphonates to help reverse the process. Drugs that treat prostate cancer include medication to disrupt hormones, such as testosterone, that feed cancer. Some drugs may prevent prostate cancer from traveling to the bone and help reduce bone pain, but they are currently under investigation.

2. Pain Medication

The medication your doctor will prescribe will depend on the intensity of the pain. In the case of mild pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory can work. If you have moderate pain, your doctor might prescribe weak opioids such as codeine. But, if you are suffering from severe pain, your doctor might recommend strong opioids such as morphine that need to be handled with care.

3. Surgery or Radiation Therapy

If your chronic backache pain is intense, your doctor might suggest surgery to help treat cancer, the pain, or both. Radiation therapy can also treat both back pain and prostate cancer. The therapy is usually delivered in two ways: through the skin or via compounds injected into a vein.


Final Words

Chronic backache often appears as the cancer stages progress. Cancer that has spread to the bones is usually the main cause of the pain. Treatment for prostate cancer can help reduce backache. Additionally, your doctor can also recommend medication and opioids to counter the effects. Chronic backache is treatable, and as your cancer treatment progresses, it might eventually fade away.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Disclaimer: this blog post is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the guidance of your personal physician. Please consult a medical professional if you have any concerns after reading this or other blog posts on this website.