According to Prostate Cancer UK, pain is a common problem for men with advanced prostate cancer, although some men have no pain at all.
The cancer can cause pain in the areas it has spread to.
If you do have pain, it can usually be relieved or reduced.
The most common cause of pain is cancer that has spread to the bones.
“If prostate cancer spreads to the bone, it can damage or weaken the bone and may cause pain. A bone scan can show whether areas of your bones have been weakened. The areas that show up on a scan are sometimes called ‘hot spots’,” said the health site.
It can get worse when you move and can make the area tender to touch.
“Every man’s experience of bone pain will be different. The pain may be constant or it might come and go. How bad it is can also vary and may depend on where the affected bone is,” noted the charity.
The health site added: “You might get other types of pain. For example, if the cancer presses on a nerve, this can also cause pain. This might be shooting, stabbing, burning, tingling or numbness.”
According to the charity, different types of pain are treated in different ways.
Treatments to control pain include:
Treatment for the cancer itself, such as hormone therapy, steroids or chemotherapy
Treatment for the pain, such as pain-relieving drugs, radiotherapy, bisphosphonates, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), or a nerve block.
Other things that might help you manage your pain include:
Keeping a pain diary to help you describe the pain to your doctor or nurse
Looking into complementary therapies
Eating a healthy diet or taking regular gentle exercise
Getting emotional support.
According to Mayo Clinic, other signs the cancer has advanced are:
Decreased force in the stream of urine
Blood in semen
Discomfort in the pelvic area
Some cases of prostate cancer can be cured if treated in the early stages, said the NHS.
If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, doctors may recommend chemotherapy.
As Mayo clinic explained: “Chemotherapy can slow the growth of cancer cells, relieve signs and symptoms of cancer, and prolong the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.”
The fighter pilot group may also be less likely to use VA health care after leaving the military, because they often go on to fly for commercial airlines and use the company’s health care plan, so the Air Force did not have access to those records.
The study’s reach was also limiting because very few airmen stayed in the service long enough to fully track the cancer, which is most common in men in their 60s.
“We are considering further studies,” the Air Force official said.
The Air Force study had intended to include Navy and Marine Corps pilots but could not get a comparable population, the Air Force official said.