It’s highly unlikely for prostate cancer to lead to kidney cancer. Prostate cancer can spread (metastasize) to distant organs, but it’s far more likely to spread to your lungs, bones, or liver than to your kidneys.
Prostate cancer is a very common cancer that develops in a gland found under your bladder. The prostate gland produces seminal fluid that helps transport and nourish sperm when you ejaculate.
When prostate cancer spreads to distant body parts, it’s called metastatic prostate cancer. Prostate cancer spreading to your kidneys is very rare — this has been reported in
Prostate cancer is more likely to affect your kidneys in other ways. For example, late stage prostate cancer can block your urethra, which drains urine from your body. This can cause urine to back up into your bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Impaired drainage from your ureters can cause your kidneys to swell and may disrupt kidney function.
Read on to learn more about how prostate cancer can affect your kidneys.
How common is prostate cancer, and who’s at risk?
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that
Your chance of developing prostate cancer increases as you get older — the average age at diagnosis is roughly 66 years. According to the
Cancer in your prostate gland can obstruct your urethra, the tube that connects your bladder to the outside of your body.
Local spread of cancer from the prostate to the urethra is more common in the late stages of prostate cancer. It can lead to complete blockage of the urethra and the inability to pass urine.
A blocked urethra can lead to a condition called hydronephrosis, in which urine backs up into your bladder, ureters, and kidneys, causing your kidneys to swell. If the ureters on
Kidney failure usually begins slowly and often does not cause symptoms in the early stages.
Prostate cancer treatment and your kidneys
Some prostate cancer treatments may also damage your kidneys.
There is some concern that hormone therapy might increase the risk of kidney injury in people with prostate cancer, but research has not found conclusive evidence of this.
A 2017 case study reported a case of rhabdomyolysis associated with abiraterone (Zytiga) therapy. Rhabdomyolysis occurs when damaged muscles release proteins and electrolytes into your blood that can damage your heart or kidneys.
When prostate cancer spreads to distant organs, it’s called metastatic prostate cancer. This can happen when cancer cells break away from the tumor and travel through your bloodstream or
Prostate cancer very, very rarely spreads to the kidneys. Fewer than 50 cases of this have ever been reported worldwide. It’s far
Spread to distant organs usually happens once the cancer has already grown quite large. Symptoms that may appear before the cancer spreads to distant areas include:
Prostate cancer can spread to local or distant areas. Even if you’re receiving treatment, spread to these areas can occur if the treatment isn’t effective.
Common areas of local spread include:
- seminal vesicles
- nearby lymph nodes
When prostate cancer spreads to distant areas, it most commonly affects:
- distant lymph nodes
Prostate cancer cells are particularly likely to spread to bone since bone marrow endothelial cells tend to bind to prostate cancer cells.
Cancers that are
The symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer depend on what part of your body is affected.
If the cancer spreads to your kidneys, it may affect one or both kidneys. The most common symptoms are:
The buildup of waste in your blood can cause symptoms such as:
- a general sick feeling
- swelling in your ankles and feet
- lack of appetite
Other possible symptoms of stage 4 prostate cancer include:
Prostate cancer can block your urethra, which drains urine from your body. This can cause urine to back up into your bladder, ureters, and kidneys, disrupting kidney function and potentially leading to kidney failure.
Kidney failure is usually progressive and eventually causes symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
It’s extremely rare for prostate cancer to spread to your kidneys. Fewer than 50 cases of this have been reported worldwide. Prostate cancer is more likely to spread to your lungs, bones, or liver.