In 2003, Farrington founded The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) to increase awareness and knowledge about prostate cancer within Black America, which according to PHEN’s website, suffers an alarming 140% higher death rate than for all other men.
Black men have a 2 1/2 times higher death rate from prostate cancer and as Farrington explains, “the whole issue about managing advanced prostate cancer is critical for men and this is what men die from when the disease is advanced to the bones and other parts of the body.”
What Does Advanced Prostate Cancer Look Like?
While early stage prostate cancer can cause no symptoms, symptoms may emerge as the disease progresses. The most common advanced prostate cancer symptoms experienced by survey respondents with bone metastases (cancer that has spread to their bones) include fatigue (85 percent), pain or aches in specific areas (71 percent), general all-over-body pain or aches (55 percent), numbness or weakness (55 percent), difficulty sleeping as a result of pain (42 percent), anxiety or distress as a result of pain (40 percent) and difficulty doing normal activities (40 percent).1
Men living with advanced prostate cancer experience symptoms like difficulty walking or climbing stairs, difficulty sleeping and loss of bladder control. On the surface, these symptoms are easy for men to ignore and not see as a sign their prostate cancer is progressing.
“A man who is typically used to going upstairs to say his bedroom on the second floor and now all of a sudden he is just finding that he is incredibly winded or his balance is off and he says ‘I am just gonna start sleeping on the couch or the guest bedroom or the reclining chair and I guess I am just getting old,’ that’s not a good thing,” says Dr. Neal Shore, a prostate expert and South Carolina-based oncologist.
These symptoms, says Shore, can potentially tell the nurse and the doctor that the man is having this progressive disease manifest itself and he may need additional tests to see if his cancer is, indeed, progressing. Any information observed by loved ones and caregivers should be shared with doctors.