Man, 61, hit with weakness on one side of the face and body prior to cancer diagnosis

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in the UK and accounts for more than 52,000 diagnoses each year. The prostate is part of the male reproductive system located in the pelvis. It can go undetected for a while as it often does not display symptoms in the early stages.

This was the case for one 61-year-old patient who did not show any of the typical signs of the disease.

For example, prostate cancer is known to sometimes lead to urinary symptoms if the cancer grows large enough to press on the urethra.

Other more common signs, if the cancer has spread, include:

  • Back or bone pain that doesn’t go away with rest
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss for no reason.

However, for the patient – whose story was published in Case Reports in Oncology – his symptoms were caused by a “rare” circumstance.

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His cancer had metastasised, meaning it had spread, to the brain.

As a result his symptoms included weakness on the right side of his face (palsy) and one side of his body (hemiparesis).

The case study explains: “The case of a 61-year-old male with a gradual onset right-sided facial palsy, dysarthria and hemiparesis for a few weeks is presented.

“He was generally well otherwise.


“His initial CT scan of the brain was suggestive of a left temporal lobe mass, which was confirmed on brain MRI as a large irregularly enhancing mass lesion in the left temporal lobe with solid and cystic components, possible were a primary or metastatic carcinomatous process.”

Further tests revealed high levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) and he was later diagnosed with metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma – an advanced form of the cancer.

His PSA levels were 1,152 milligrams per litre (mg/l), significantly higher than “normal” levels of five mg/l.

He underwent surgery to remove the mass from his brain as well as radiotherapy in that area.

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The patient was also prescribed goserelin acetate, a drug used to treat prostate cancer.

“His PSA normalised to 3.7 mg/l within seven weeks,” the study says.

“He has been doing exceptionally well since then and having ongoing clinical biochemical and radiological response without any evidence of disease recurrence nearly 36 months following the initial event.”

It concludes: “Brain metastasis is common in cancer, but prostate cancer rarely metastasises to the brain.

“Approximately 1.6 percent of prostate cancer patients have brain metastasis in a large retrospective analysis of 16,280 patients with prostate cancer.

“Cerebral metastasis from prostate cancer as an initial presentation is extremely rare.

“Treatments available for intracranial metastasis include neurosurgery, radiation therapy and hormonal manipulation.

“Our case presented with predominantly right-sided weakness and underwent neurosurgical resection and radiotherapy followed by androgen deprivation therapy.”

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