What Are The Potential Complications
Prostate cancer and treatment can lead to problems with urination as well as erectile dysfunction.
If stage 2 prostate cancer spreads outside the prostate, it can reach nearby tissues, the lymph system, or bloodstream. From there, it can metastasize to distant sites. Later-stage prostate cancer is difficult to treat and can be life-threatening.
Prostate Cancer Patients Underestimate Life Expectancy Without Treatment
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Recent findings published in the Annals of Family Medicine showed that most patients with prostate cancer underestimated their life expectancy without treatment and overestimated their life expectancy with treatment.
We found that all men, regardless of age, race, education, and comorbidity, held unrealistic survival expectations of active treatment,Jinping Xu, MD, MS, in the department of family medicine and public health sciencesat Wayne State University, and colleagues wrote. This unrealistic expectation appears to be driven by perceived severity of their cancer after adjustment for patient age and general health.
Fear of cancer progression is commonly cited as the reason for choosing surgery or radiation over surveillance in the management of prostate cancer, the researchers wrote. However, a recent study showed that surgery did not reduce all-cause or prostate cancerspecific mortality when compared with surveillance. Overall, studies have yet to show that surgery and radiation are better options than surveillance.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
Treating Prostate Cancer That Doesnt Go Away Or Comes Back After Treatment
If your prostate-specific antigen blood level shows that your prostate cancer has not been cured or has come back after the initial treatment, further treatment can often still be helpful. Follow-up treatment will depend on where the cancer is thought to be and what treatment youve already had. Imaging tests such as CT, MRI, or bone scans may be done to get a better idea about where the cancer is.
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Communicate With Your Doctor
The most critical recommendation to reduce your risk is to keep in communication with your doctor. Your case is different from any other, and you deserve personalized treatment. These recommendations should adapt to your case, too. Thus, talk to your doctor and follow recommendations. If your doctor considers it appropriate to screen with PSA testing, talk about the pros and cons with him. And if you need treatment, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of your treatment options. Ask questions and inform yourself about prostate cancer and what to do about it.
How Long Can You Live With Prostate Cancer With No Treatment
Studies have shown that between 86% and 98% of men with LPC do not die from their cancer in all age groups, the researchers wrote. In fact, more than 95% of patients with LPC live at least 10 years after their diagnosis, whereas only 25% of patients in this study expected to live more than 10 years.
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What Can Affect My Outlook
No one can tell you exactly what will happen. How prostate cancer affects you will depend on many things.
- Your stage Whether your cancer is localised, locally advanced, or advanced.
- Your Gleason score or grade group The higher your Gleason score, the more aggressive the cancer, and the more likely it is to spread.
- Your treatment options You may be able to have treatment aimed at getting rid of the cancer. Or you may be able to have treatment to keep the cancer under control. Read more about choosing your treatment.
- Your health If you have other health problems, you may have fewer treatment options. And you may be more likely to die from another condition, such as heart disease.
- Your PSA level After youve been diagnosed, PSA tests are a good way of monitoring your prostate cancer and seeing how youre responding to treatment.
- How successful your treatment is Your treatment may be successful at getting rid of your cancer or keeping it under control. But for some men, treatment may not work as well as expected.
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Prostate Cancer Stages Based On Standard Scores
After calculating the TNM categories, your doctors will combine your TNM score, Gleason score and PSA levels to assign of a specific stage to your prostate cancer. Keep in mind that every case is different, and statistics and other recommendations are purely general guidelines.
|10 years||15 years|
*Percentages factor in all stages of prostate cancer. Relative survival rate means the percentage of patients who live x number of years after their initial diagnoses, not after stoppage of treatment.
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Surgery For Prostate Cancer
Surgery is a common choice to try to cure prostate cancer if it is not thought to have spread outside the prostate gland.
The main type of surgery for prostate cancer is a radical prostatectomy. In this operation, the surgeon removes the entire prostate gland plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles.
Prostate Cancer: A Guide For Aging Men
Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in the world, despite it only being diagnosed in males . In fact, more than 70 percent of men over the age of 80 have some quantity of cancer cells in their prostate.
Its so common that it sometimes doesnt go diagnosed until autopsies are performed, though that doesnt mean the cancer is the cause of death. On the contrary, the overall prognosis for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is as positive as you can get when talking about the dreaded c word. The five-year survival rates for the disease are close to 100 percent, especially when talking about prostate cancer that is caught early on in the processbefore it spreads.
The five-year survival rates for the disease are close to 100 percent, especially when talking about prostate cancer that is caught early on in the processbefore it spreads.
Nevertheless, prostate cancer is serious business, and the best way to handle a diagnosis is to be informed. Lets take a look at the frequency at which its diagnosed, how youre tested for it, how it can affect your daily life, and what we can do to try and prevent the disease.
Average Age of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
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Prostate Cancer Without Treatment
In the United States, one man in six will receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer during his lifetime, but a much smaller percentage one in 35 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
âSome men may be rushing into treatment that wonât necessarily benefit them, prevent problems, or prolong life,â Eggener says. âClose observation in certain patients may maintain quality of life without increasing the chances of the cancer spreading.â
The newly reported study included 262 prostate cancer patients recruited from four treatment centers in the United States and Canada between 1991 and 2007.
All the men were younger than 75 at recruitment, with the average age being 64. All had early-stage, localized disease and all had the most favorable biological disease markers, including a prostate-specific antigen score of below 10 ng/mL and a Gleason score of 6 or below.
âWe feel that the second biopsy was an important step in identifying patients who are not good candidates for active surveillance,â Eggener says.
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Learn More About Prostate Cancer Care At Rcca
If youve been diagnosed with prostate cancer or are concerned about potential symptoms, contact RCCA today. Our team of cancer care specialists will assess the stage of your cancer using the latest diagnostic methods and work with you to design a fully individualized care plan that includes advanced treatment options, the potential for clinical trials, and support that addresses physical and emotional well-being. To speak with a representative right away, please call .
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Survival By Disease Progression
The extent prostate cancer has progressed can influence survival rates.
Prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland by normal and malignant cells. In men with prostate cancer, blood levels of PSA are often elevated.
Doctors can use PSA as a marker to better understand the progression of prostate cancer and the resulting prognosis.
One way doctors assess the progression of the disease is through PSA doubling time. This refers to the number of months it takes for PSA to double.
One study suggests a short doubling time means a poorer prognosis for patients with stage IV prostate cancer. Median survival was 16.5 months for those with a PSA doubling time lower than 45 days compared with 26 months for patients with a longer PSA doubling time.
Whether or not the cancer has metastasized and spread to other areas of the body outside the prostate can also influence survival. In distant or stage IV prostate cancer, when cancer has spread from the prostate to other organs like the liver or lungs, the five-year survival rate is 31% compared with localized cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of nearly 100%.
What You Can Do
Its important that you learn all you can about advanced prostate cancer so you can make informed decisions. Be open with your doctors and others on your healthcare team. Express your concerns and feel free to advocate for yourself and your quality of life. Get another medical opinion if you feel its necessary.
Some complementary therapies may prove helpful in coping with advanced cancer. For example:
- tai chi, yoga, or other movement therapy
- music therapy
- meditation, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques
A variety of services can help you with everything from lodging while youre getting treatment to getting some help around the house. Communicating with online or in-person groups are a good way to share information and lend mutual support.
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Cancer Staging May Miss Errant Cells
Once a pathologist confirms that cancer is present, the doctor will next determine how far the cancer extends a process known as cancer staging and discuss the implications with you. This is perhaps the most important information of all for you to obtain, as it determines whether the cancer is likely to be curable, or whether it has already spread to additional tissues, making prognosis much worse.
If you were my patient, I would ask you to consider two important points. First, cancer staging actually occurs in two phases: clinical and pathological . Of the two, pathological staging is more accurate.
A second point to understand, however, is that even pathological staging can be inaccurate . A cancer spreads, or metastasizes, once a primary tumor sheds cancer cells that travel elsewhere in the body and establish other tumor sites. Metastasis is a complex process that researchers do not fully understand. What is clear is that this process involves multiple genetic mutations and steps, and that each type of cancer spreads in a unique way.
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First Line Treatment For Advanced Prostate Cancer
The established first line approach is to control the progression of the disease by reducing levels of testosterone in the body. This is because testosterone increases the speed at which prostate cancer cells reproduce.
There are two different ways to lower testosterone levels. Hormone therapy lowers the levels of testosterone in the body by taking tablets or having injections. It is sometimes referred to as medical castration. The surgical option involves removing the testicles, known as surgical castration or orchidectomy, although this is now rarely used.
Another approach is called anti-androgen treatment. Androgens have to bind to a protein in the cell called an androgen receptor to work. Anti-androgens are drugs that bind to these receptors so the androgens cant, effectively blocking them. The main side-effects are gynaecomastia breast enlargement and breast pain, although a single radiotherapy dose to the breasts can help this side-effect.
Combining anti-androgens with testosterone reduction is known as Maximum Androgen Blockade and may be used if hormone treatment alone is not working sufficiently.
Treating with chemotherapy at the same time as the start of hormone deprivation was found to increase survival by 13 months in all patients and 17 months in men with high-volume disease.
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Grade And Risk Category
The biopsy results will show the grade of the cancer. This is a score that describes how quickly the cancer may grow or spread.
For many years, the Gleason scoring system has been used to grade the tissue taken during a biopsy. If you have prostate cancer, youll have a Gleason score between 6 and 10. A new system has been introduced to replace the Gleason system. Known as the International Society of Urological Pathologists Grade Group system, this grades prostate cancer from 1 to 5 .
Risk of progression
Based on the stage, grade and your PSA level before the biopsy, localised prostate cancer will be classified as having a low, intermediate or high risk of growing and spreading. This is known as the risk of progression. The risk category helps guide management and treatment.
Grading prostate cancer
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Gleason Score For Grading Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is also given a grade called a Gleason score. This score is based on how much the cancer looks like healthy tissue when viewed under a microscope. Less aggressive tumors generally look more like healthy tissue. Tumors that are more aggressive are likely to grow and spread to other parts of the body. They look less like healthy tissue.
The Gleason scoring system is the most common prostate cancer grading system used. The pathologist looks at how the cancer cells are arranged in the prostate and assigns a score on a scale of 3 to 5 from 2 different locations. Cancer cells that look similar to healthy cells receive a low score. Cancer cells that look less like healthy cells or look more aggressive receive a higher score. To assign the numbers, the pathologist determines the main pattern of cell growth, which is the area where the cancer is most obvious, and then looks for another area of growth. The doctor then gives each area a score from 3 to 5. The scores are added together to come up with an overall score between 6 and 10.
Gleason scores of 5 or lower are not used. The lowest Gleason score is 6, which is a low-grade cancer. A Gleason score of 7 is a medium-grade cancer, and a score of 8, 9, or 10 is a high-grade cancer. A lower-grade cancer grows more slowly and is less likely to spread than a high-grade cancer.
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Where Can I Find Support
It can be very difficult to deal with a diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer. Its natural to wonder if youre doing all you can to fight the cancer and how to handle guilt, intimacy with a partner, and concerns about masculinity. And finding and paying for the best care can, of course, be a challenge.
But emotional and practical support can help you move forward. An important thing to remember is that youre not alone. There are many kinds of help available, and the right cancer resources can make a world of difference.
Ask your doctor for resources you can contact, including social workers and support systems in your community. The Patient Navigator Program of the ACS can be reached at 1-800-227-2345 youll be connected to a patient navigator at a cancer treatment center who can help you with practical and emotional issues.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation has links to in-person and online support groups around the country, and the ACS lists nationwide support programs as well. The PCF also offers resources ranging from help with housing during cancer treatment to finding ways you can look good and feel better while living with cancer.
Psa And Gleason Score
Two other important factors that doctors and specialists use to assess cancer cells are the prostate specific antigen and the Gleason score.
PSA levels: PSA is a protein that appears in higher levels in the bloodstream when there is a problem with the prostate. Normally, PSA levels in the blood are very low, and a test cannot detect them. However, in some circumstance, such as prostate cancer, PSA levels start to rise.
Screening for prostate cancer uses a blood test for PSA. If PSA levels are high, the doctor may recommend further tests to see if prostate cancer is present.
There are various other reasons why PSA levels may rise, including sexual stimulation or an infection.
The grade and Gleason score: Different types of cancer cell act differently. Some types, or grades, are more aggressive and can spread more easily. The Gleason score and grade are different measures, but they both reflect how likely it is that a tumor will spread, and how quickly it will do so. Either a biopsy or surgery can determine the types of cancer cells present in the prostate tissues.
Nearly 50% of males have a condition known as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia by the time they are 50 years old. PIN is when there are changes in the cells that line the prostate gland.
High grade PIN is not cancer, but the cells can become cancerous in the future. For this reason, a doctor may recommend treatment to remove the cells.
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