Are You At Risk
In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
Find out more about your risk.
See and share our infographic on prostate cancer risk.
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How Serious Is My Cancer
If you have prostate cancer, the doctor will want to find out how far it has spread. This is called the stage of the cancer. You may have heard other people say that their cancer was stage 1 or stage 2. Your doctor will want to find out the stage of your cancer to help decide what types of treatment might be best for you.
The stage is based on the growth or spread of the cancer through the prostate, and if it has spread to other parts of your body. It also includes your blood PSA level and the grade of the cancer. The prostate cancer cells are given a grade, based on how they look under a microscope. Those that look very different from normal cells are given a higher grade and are likely to grow faster. The grade of your cancer might be given as a Gleason score or a Grade Group . Ask your doctor to explain the grade of your cancer. The grade also can helpdecide which treatments might be best for you.
Your cancer can be stage 1, 2, 3, or 4. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, like stage 4, means a more serious cancer that has spread outside the prostate.
If your cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body, it might also be given a risk group. The risk group is based on the extent of the cancer in the prostate, your PSA level, and the results of the prostate biopsy. The risk group can help tell if other tests should be done, and what the best treatment options might be.
Understanding Prostate Cancer Stages
Prostate Cancer, Stage I
In stage I prostate cancer, the cancer is limited to one side of the prostate, and it has not spread to lymph nodes or other areas of the body. Both the PSA levels and Gleason score are low. At this stage, the cancer tends to grow very slowly and is therefore largely curable. The survival rate for stage I prostate cancer is nearly 100%.
Prostate Cancer, Stage II
While the cancer may be present across the prostate gland, it has not spread to lymph nodes or other areas of the body. The PSA levels and Gleason score will likely be higher than average, but the survival rate for this stage of prostate cancer is still nearly 100%.
Prostate Cancer, Stage III
In stage III, the cancer has spread to other tissues or is on the brink of spreading to lymph nodes or other areas of the body. If the cancer has spread to other areas, it is localized near the prostate and has not affected lymph nodes. The survival rate is still almost 100%.
Prostate Cancer, Stage IV
This is the most advanced stage of prostate cancer. In this stage, the cancer has spread to areas beyond the prostate and nearby tissue, like the lymph nodes, bones, or other organs. When diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer, the five-year survival rate is about 30%.
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Talking To Andrews Doctor
For fifteen months, Andrew responded really well to treatment and was feeling reasonably good. But then he developed a very bad spinal cord compression. He was unable to walk and at that point it was clear that things were very serious. He spent nearly a month in hospital and his consultant told us that the cancer was back with a vengeance and that they wanted to fast track him home.
Andrew didnt want to know how long he might have. I know that he knew what the score was but that he just didnt want to speak about it.
Andrew didnt want to know how long he might have.
I asked Andrews doctor how long he might live for. She told me that she could give me some indication of how long Andrew might live for if I wanted to know. I wasnt sure that I wanted to know if Andrew didnt it might have created a barrier between us.
I wanted to know what I should expect. But I wasnt sure that I wanted to know how long Andrew would live for if he didnât know.
But I wanted to know what I should expect. I needed to plan what was going to happen when he came home, the arrangements that would need to be made and whether I needed to speak to other members of our family and friends. At this point I think I felt quite out of control, so speaking to the consultant was my way of regaining some of that control and it helped me to plan for his homecoming.
Its difficult to accept that cancer takes its own route at its own pace.
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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.
Myth: Psa Tests Are Bad For You
Fact: Some prostate cancer experts recommend against regular PSA testing, but not necessarily because of the test itself which is just a simple blood test. PSA screening certainly isnt perfect, but it doesnt pose any actual danger to your health. The real hazard is anxiety and sometimes faulty decision-making when it comes to interpreting and acting on PSA results. According to the ACS, PSA levels usually go above 4 when prostate cancer develops. However, a PSA level between 4 and 10 results in a prostate cancer diagnosis only about 25 percent of the time.
Causes of a high PSA can range from things like bicycling to ejaculation. As a result, some men are given invasive biopsies that arent needed. Or, if they do have cancer, they may be treated aggressively for slow-growing tumors that might never have caused any issues.
Which is not to say that PSA tests arent valuable or that they cant save lives. In the years since theyve been widely used, says Dr. Wei, prostate cancer diagnoses have gone up but the death rate is going down. This is at least in part because PSA tests lead to more investigation, which can find cancer early when its more receptive to treatment. Talk with your doctor about whether and how often you should be screened for prostate cancer.
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Life Expectancy And Localized Prostate Cancer
So how do these treatments affect life expectancy? In one study, researchers in Switzerland examined the treatment and outcomes of 844 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. They compared men who had been treated with prostatectomy, radiotherapy and watchful waiting and found that at five years from diagnosis, the type of treatment made little difference to survival. When the researchers went to 10 years from diagnosis, they did find a difference in survival based on treatment, but it was fairly small.
After 10 years, 83 percent of the men who had gotten a prostatectomy were still living, compared to 75 percent who had undergone radiotherapy and 72 percent who took a watchful waiting approach.
Is Prostate Cancer Curable
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men, second only to skin cancer. Learning that one has any type of cancer isnt easy, but the first question on most patients minds after diagnosis is, is prostate cancer curable?
The short answer is yes, prostate cancer can be cured, when detected and treated early. The vast majority of prostate cancer cases are discovered in the early stages, making the tumors more likely to respond to treatment. Treatment doesnt always have to mean surgery or chemotherapy, either. Non-invasive radiation therapy can effectively treat prostate cancer in the case of Pasadena CyberKnife, radiosurgery treatment generally takes less than a week, and you can typically resume your normal activities the same day you receive treatment.
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The Staging Grading And Prognosis Of Prostate Cancer
The tests completed by your specialist help work out whether you have prostate cancer and if it has spread to other parts of your body. This process is called staging. It helps you and your health care team decide which management or treatment option is best for you.
The most common staging system for prostate cancer is the TNM system. In this system, letters and numbers are used to describe the size of the tumour , whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes , and whether the cancer has spread to the bones or other organs, i.e. whether it has metastasised . The TNM scores are combined to work out the overall stage of the cancer, with higher numbers indicating larger size or spread.
|localised – stages 12||The cancer is contained inside the prostate.|
|locally advanced – stage 3||The cancer is larger and has spread outside the prostate to nearby tissues or nearby organs such as the bladder, rectum or pelvic wall.|
|advanced – stage 4||The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lymph glands or bone. This is called prostate cancer even if the tumour is in a different part of the body.|
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.
Risk of progression
Prognosis means the expected outcome of a disease. You may wish to discuss your prognosis with your doctor, but it is not possible for anyone to predict the exact course of the disease.
Prostate Cancer Now Kills More People Than Breast Cancer: Cause For Alarm
As epidemiologists, we are not alarmed by the apparent increase in deaths from prostate cancer, heres why
For the first time in the UK, the number of deaths from prostate cancer has exceeded the numbers of deaths from breast cancer. According to figures from the UKs Office for National Statistics , more men died of prostate cancer than women died from breast cancer .
The Guardian, like many media outlets, pointed to the changing age demographics as a likely contributor prostate cancer is a disease of the elderly and men are living longer. Others, however, commandeered the media attention to push forward their own hypotheses. Roger Wotton, chairman of Tackle Prostate Cancer, said: Women have screening for breast cancer and this is one reason why mortality rates for prostate cancer are now higher than those for breast cancer. As epidemiologists, we are not alarmed by the apparent increase in deaths from prostate cancer. In this blog, we outline why.
Some clarity can be found by examining the mortality figures stratified by age. The death rate from prostate cancer in men older than 80 years of age is 601 per 100K, whereas the breast cancer mortality rate for women aged 80 or older is 216 per 100K.
The assessment of trends over time should always be made using age- and sex-standardised rates. Without adjusting for differences in population across years, crude numbers can prove to be misleading.
Conflicts of interest: none declared
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Prostate Cancer Risk Groups
In addition to stage, doctors may use other prognostic factors to help plan the best treatment and predict how successful treatment will be. Examples of these include the National Comprehensive Cancer Network risk group categories and the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment risk score from University of California, San Francisco.
Information about the cancers stage and other prognostic factors will help the doctor recommend a specific treatment plan. The next section in this guide is Types of Treatment. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
What Happens When Prostate Cancer Is Left Untreated
Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
While most men undergo some form of treatment for their prostate cancer, some men today choose to not be treated for their prostate cancer. Instead, they may choose to have their doctors monitor their cancer.
Known as active surveillance, it is common when the cancer is expected to grow slowly based on biopsy results, confined to the prostate, not causing any symptoms, and/or small. In active surveillance, doctors will initiate cancer treatment only if cancer starts growing.
Others men may choose to not undergo cancer treatment because of a short life expectancy or other serious medical problems. They may feel that the risks or side effects of cancer treatment outweigh their potential benefits.
This option is certainly OK and reasonable in the right circumstancesrequiring a careful and thoughtful discussion with your doctor and family.
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Nutrition in cancer care health professional. Nutrition plays major roles in many aspects of cancer development and treatment. Malnutrition is a common problem in cancer patients.
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What Does The Prostate Do
The prostate produces a fluid that mixes with sperm to make semen. The fluid is kept in a tube-shaped gland that sits behind the bladder. This gland is called the seminal vesicle. During sex, the muscle tissue helps force prostate fluid and sperm into the urethra.
The sex hormone testosterone controls how the prostate works. Testosterone is responsible for things like your sex drive, getting an erection, and muscle development.
The prostate also produces a protein called prostate-specific antigen . This helps to make semen more watery. A blood test can measure PSA. This is called a PSA test. Doctors use it to help diagnose different prostate problems, including cancer.
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Understanding Prostate Cancers Progression
To determine the appropriate treatment, doctors need to know how far the cancer has progressed, or its stage. A pathologist, the doctor trained in analyzing cells taken during a prostate biopsy, will provide two starting pointsthe cancers grade and Gleason score.
- Cancer grade: When the pathologist looks at prostate cancer cells, the most common type of cells will get a grade of 3 to 5. The area of cancer cells in the prostate will also be graded. The higher the grade, the more abnormal the cells.
- Gleason score: The two grades will be added together to get a Gleason score. This score tells doctors how likely the cancer is to grow and spread.
After a biopsy confirms prostate cancer, the patient may undergo additional tests to see whether it has spread through the blood or lymph nodes to other parts of the body. These tests are usually imaging studies and may include a bone scan, positron emission tomography scan or computed tomography scan.