If you do have any pain, discomfort or any sensations that are difficult for you, tell your healthcare team. Hormone therapy and other treatments such as chemotherapy can help to control symptoms.

Pain management

There are different kinds of pain-relieving drugs to manage pain from prostate cancer. These include mild pain-relieving drugs that you can buy over the counter, and stronger drugs that require a prescription. Your healthcare team will suggest the right type of pain-relieving drug for your needs. They could also develop a pain management plan with you, or refer you to a pain clinic or a palliative care clinic. Depending on where you live, the palliative care team could visit you at home to help you manage your symptoms. Being linked with a palliative care clinic does not necessarily mean your cancer has become life-threatening. It may just mean you can benefit from support in managing your symptoms.

Management of bone problems

If the cancer spreads to the bones, it will damage them and may cause bone pain or fractures. Drugs called osteoclast inhibitors, such as bisphosphonates, are used to stop the bone breaking down. They can prevent or reduce pain and can prevent fractures and spinal cord compressions (known as skeletal-related events) caused by the spread of prostate cancer. Radiotherapy can also be helpful in reducing pain, preventing fractures or assisting in the repair of fractures.

Complementary therapies

Some men with advanced prostate cancer may choose to use complementary therapies as well as mainstream cancer treatment. There is evidence to show that physical activity, meditation, yoga and acupuncture can help with managing the physical and emotional symptoms of cancer. If you are thinking about using complementary therapies, it is important that you use safe and proven therapies and not therapies that are unproven or promoted as alternatives or substitutes to mainstream cancer treatment.

It is important that you speak with your healthcare team if you are thinking of using complementary therapies as well as mainstream cancer treatment because they may be able to advise on complementary therapies that are appropriate for you, and possible effects some complementary therapies and your mainstream treatment may have on each other.

Listed below are some questions you may want to ask members of your healthcare team about complementary therapies:

  • What are the useful complementary therapies for me?
  • How will they help me?
  • What is the evidence to show they work?
  • Do they have side effects? What are they?
  • Will they interfere with the conventional prostate cancer treatment I am having or want to have?
  • What are the financial costs of the complementary therapies being suggested?