As a patient with metastatic prostate cancer, regular visits are important to keep a close eye on your cancer, assess your treatment plan and monitor side effects. It’s likely your visits will occur anywhere from every two months to every six months. But rest assured we’ll develop a schedule that feels right for you. During these visits, your healthcare provider might...
Review your medical history. How have you been feeling since your last visit? Have you had other conditions? Have there been any changes to your treatment—i.e., are you taking any new medications?
Perform a physical exam. This will help us assess your overall health.
We’ll check your PSA. A PSA test, which measures the levels of prostate-specific antigens in your blood, can help us determine how well your treatment is working.
Use imaging studies. Bone scans and CT scans may be used to follow you in addition to the PSA test. Often the PSA test is so sensitive that it can indicate problems long before any imaging studies show any cancer. However, in some cases, cancer cells may not make much PSA, so occasional imaging studies are often used to be sure everything is going well. In addition, we would do scans if you develop new symptoms like back pain or difficulty urinating or with your bowel movements.
In addition, in men on hormone therapy bone density studies may be used to determine how well the calcium in the bones is being preserved.