Insidious enemy: downside to prolonged survival in prostate cancer

BMJ Case Rep. 2017 Aug 2;2017:bcr2017220613. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2017-220613.


An 83-year-old man, a prostate cancer survivor of 10 years with multiple vertebral metastases presented with sudden onset of double vision. On examination he was found to have an isolated partial left abducens palsy with no other neurological deficits. Despite having microvascular risk factors, given his history of prostate cancer, aMRI brain scan was requested to look for a neurological cause. The scan revealed a metastatic lesion in the clivus encasing the cavernous sinus and carotid artery. He was referred to his oncologist for further management, however he opted out of further treatment and succumbed to his illness a month later. This case report includes a literature review of cases with clivus metastases secondary to prostate cancer. It highlights the importance of carefully examining eye movements and having a high index of suspicion for the subtlest sign that may suggest brain metastases in elderly patients with prostate cancer with prolonged survival.

Keywords: neuroopthalmology; prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Cavernous Sinus / diagnostic imaging
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / diagnostic imaging
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / pathology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*