When your PSA is rising while on hormone therapy, you are considered “castrate-resistant” (previously called hormone refractory or androgen independent). There are several questions that arise immediately, and several challenges you may be faced with. Is my cancer coming back? If so, where is it? Are there other tests I can ask for? What treatments are available? Which should I try first, second, third? Will I be able to deal with the side effects? How long can I do this?
This page is intended to help you with all of these things as you make this journey. Remember that prostate cancer recurrence is not always life-threatening, and many times can be turned into a chronic disease. Simply put, you can often live with a little bit of cancer. Just because you didn’t receive “cure” with your previous treatment, doesn’t mean the cancer will take your life. There is a middle road. (Read Understanding Survival Statistics below)
For men who have a rising PSA, but a clear bone scan, CT scan, and maybe even PET scan, you would be considered non-metastatic (NM).
For men who have a rising PSA and a positive bone scan, or CT scan, or PET scan,you would be considered metastatic (M).
Most articles in this section apply to both metastatic (M) and non-metastatic (NM) but a few articles have an indication of one or the other.
You will also find help for side effects issues at the bottom of this section.