If prostate cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the prostate to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If prostate cancer spreads, it can spread to the:

  • bladder
  • urethra
  • ejaculatory ducts (the ducts that run from the seminal vesicles to the part of the urethra that passes through the prostate)
  • seminal vesicles (the glands on each side of the prostate)
  • rectum
  • pelvic wall
  • lymph nodes in the pelvis
  • lymph nodes outside the pelvis
  • bones
  • lungs
  • liver
  • brain

Expert review and references

  • American Joint Committee on Cancer. AJCC Cancer Staging Handbook. 7th ed. Chicago: Springer; 2010.
  • Brierley JD, Gospodarowicz MK, Wittekind C (eds.). TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours. 8th ed. Wiley Blackwell; 2017.
  • Hermanns T, Kuk C, Zlotta AR . Clinical presentation, diagnosis and staging. Nargund VH, Raghavan D, Sandler HM (eds.). Urological Oncology. Springer; 2015: 40: 697-718.
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Prostate Cancer (Version 1.2016). http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/prostate.pdf.
  • Scher HI, Scardino PT, Zelefsky . Cancer of the prostate. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 68:932-980.