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How Often Is Prostate Cancer Fatal

What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

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In most cases, prostate cancer causes no symptoms.

In rare cases, men may experience certain symptoms when they have advanced prostate cancer. However, these symptoms are also present in many men who do not have cancer, so it is best to discuss them with a doctor before jumping to any conclusions. Some of these symptoms can include difficulty emptying the bladder, blood in the urine, and bone pain.

Prostate Cancer: Whats Your Risk

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Prostate cancer risk statistics can be misleading. Although 15% of American men will be diagnosed in their lifetimes with prostate cancer, 3% of all men will actually die because of the disease.

Age, family history, and race are the main influences.

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If Your Prostate Cancer Comes Back

If your cancer goes into remission but later returns, follow-up treatments will depend on where the cancer is located and which treatments youâve already tried.

  • If the cancer is contained in your prostate, surgery or a second attempt at radiation is suggested. If youve had a radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy is a good option. If you had radiation, radical prostatectomy might be the best approach. Cryosurgery might also be an option.
  • If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, hormone therapy might be the most effective treatment. External or IV radiation therapy or bisphosphonate drugs can relieve your bone pain.

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Prostate Cancer Survival Rates: What They Mean

As cancer diagnoses go, prostate cancer is often a less serious one. Prostate cancer is frequently slow-growing and slow to spread. For many men, prostate cancer is less serious than their other medical conditions.

For these reasons, and possibly because of earlier detection of low-grade prostate cancers, prostate cancer has one of the highest survival rates of any type of cancer. WebMD takes a look at prostate cancer survival rates and what they mean to you.

What Happens If My Cancer Starts To Grow Again

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Your first treatment may help keep your cancer under control. But over time, the cancer may change and it may start to grow again.

You will usually stay on your first type of hormone therapy, even if its not working so well. This is because it will still help to keep the amount of testosterone in your body low. But there are other treatments that you can have alongside your usual treatment, to help control the cancer and manage any symptoms. Other treatments include:

Which treatments are suitable for me?

Which treatments are suitable for you will depend on many things, including your general health, how your cancer responds to treatment, and which treatments youve already had. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your own situation, or speak to our Specialist Nurses.

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Clues In Diet And Lifestyle

To clarify the prognosis for a tumor, HSPH researchers are homing in on other factors that might affect susceptibility to prostate cancer, especially the aggressive form of the disease. Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology, recently looked at nine diet and lifestyle factors. He found that smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity raise the risk of developing a more virulent cancer. According to Giovannucci, The question is whether there are two types of prostate canceran aggressive and nonaggressive formor whether certain factors cause a nonaggressive form to become more aggressive. Evidence provided by HSPH researchers suggests that an increase in insulin in the bloodstream, caused by obesity and physical inactivity, may encourage tumor growth.

Other investigations have linked dietary factors to the disease. A 2011 study by HSPH research associate Kathryn Wilson, together with Mucci and Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology Meir Stampfer, and other colleagues, found that men who drank coffee had a notably lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Those who consumed six cups or more a day were 20 percent less likely to develop any form of the disease, and 60 percent less likely to develop a lethal disease those who consumed one to three cups a day showed no difference in developing any form of the disease, but had a 30 percent lower risk of developing a lethal form.

Quality Of Life With Advanced Stage Prostate Cancer

Since Huggins and Hodges won a Nobel Prize in 1966 for their work describing the relationship between testosterone and prostate cancer, androgen deprivation has continued to be an important component in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. It is associated, however, with significant cost in terms of morbidity as well as economics. Side effects of androgen deprivation therapy include hot flashes, osteoporosis, loss of libido or impotence, and psychological effects such as depression, memory difficulties, or emotional lability. Recently Harle and colleagues reported insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, metabolic syndrome, and metabolic complications being associated with castration and thus being responsible for increased cardiovascular mortality in this population.

Because of the palliative nature of androgen ablation, quality of life is an important component of evaluating competing therapies. Intermittent androgen deprivation is one approach to hormonal therapy that has been developed with the aim of minimizing the negative effects of therapy while maximizing clinical benefits and the patients quality of life. It can be used in any clinical situation where continuous androgen deprivation treatment could be applied.

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To Treat Or Not To Treat

Up until now, with a few notable exceptions, doctors have myopically focused on treating prostate cancer, says Adami. They are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on chemotherapy that has minimal effects on cancer mortality, often with substantial side effects. But we ignore entirely the fact that large groups of prostate cancer patients die from other causes that actually are preventable.

Among older patients especially, that activity can take the form of vigorous walking. Recently, Mucci has spearheaded an intervention with Adami and other colleagues in Sweden, Iceland, and Ireland in which men walk in groups with a nurse three times a week. In a pilot study, researchers found improvements in just 12 weeks in body weight, blood pressure, sleep, urinary function, and mental health.

Scientists at HSPH are also searching for genetic and lifestyle markers that help predict how aggressive a patients prostate cancer will be. For example, an ongoing project led by Mucci and Adami draws on detailed cancer registries in Nordic countries, including an analysis of 300,000 twins, to tease out the relative contribution of different genes to prostate cancer incidence and survival.

is a Boston-based journalist and author of The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the Worlds Favorite Soft Drink.

Myth: Prostate Cancer Is For Older Men

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Fact: While its true that the majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are older, it can strike younger men, too. About 40 percent of all cases occur in men younger than 65, according to the ACS. Its not uncommon at all for men in their fifties and some in their forties to have prostate cancer, says Sartor.

The exact age you should start getting regularly screened for prostate cancer is still an area of confusion and debate. At least start talking to your doctor about PSA testing once youre 50 years old, the ACS recommends. The exception to this is if the disease runs in your family, in which case its a good idea to start PSA screening earlier, at age 40 or 45.

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Who Gets Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer develops mostly in older men.1 It is extremely rare for it to be diagnosed before age 45. Just under 10 percent of cases are diagnosed between ages 45 and 54. Over 70 percent of diagnoses occur between 55 and 74. Less than 20 percent of cases are diagnosed at age 75 or older.1

African American men have the highest rates of prostate cancer, followed by Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American men. African American men also tend to get more aggressive prostate cancer compared to Caucasian men.

Black men in the Caribbean and Europe also have higher rates compared to their neighbors. However, men living in Africa have much lower rates. This suggests that both genes and environment play a role in who gets prostate cancer.1,4

New cases of prostate cancer peaked in the 1990s and began to decline after 2010. Five year survival rates have improved from 66 percent in 1975 to 99 percent in 2011, and continue to decline. Scientists believe the wide-spread use of PSA tests are catching cancer earlier and treatments have improved.1,4

Deaths From Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 41 will die of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. In fact, more than 3.1 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2022. American Cancer Society. Atlanta, Ga. 2022.

National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html on March 15, 2019.

Noone AM, Howlader N, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA . SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2015, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2015/, based on November 2017 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2018.

American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2022. American Cancer Society. Atlanta, Ga. 2022.

National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html on March 15, 2019.

Last Revised: January 12, 2022

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Learn The Facts About Prostate Cancer

Most people dont think prostate cancer is going to happen to them, unless their father or brother had it, says Oliver Sartor, MD, a professor of medicine and urology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

However, given that about 268,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease in 2022, according to the American Cancer Society , its likely that you or someone you know will be affected. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American men, right behind lung cancer.

But while its a serious disease, and it does take lives, most men dont die from it. In fact, the ACS says that more than 2.9 million Americans whove been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.

Despite this prevalence, myths and confusion abound when it comes to understanding your own personal level of risk, and what to do when your doctor says you have prostate cancer.

The diagnosis almost always hits people out of the blue, Dr. Sartor says. It’s not what you plan on, and of course it’s very disruptive. For many men, prostate cancer creates a general cognitive dissonance: Why me? What did I do wrong? What am I going to do about it now that my life is being threatened?

Additional reporting by Andrea Peirce

Staging Spread And Survival Rates

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As with all cancers, doctors use the term stage to describe the characteristics of the primary tumor itself, such as its size and how far prostate cancer has spread when it is found.

Staging systems are complicated. The staging system for most cancers, including prostate cancer, uses three different aspects of tumor growth and spread. It’s called the TNM system, for tumor, nodes, and metastasis:

  • T, for tumor describes the size of the main area of prostate cancer.
  • N, for nodes, describes whether prostate cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, and how many and in what locations.
  • M, for metastasis, means distant spread of prostate cancer, for example, to the bones or liver.

Using the TNM system, each man’s prostate cancer can be described in detail and compared to other men’s prostate cancer. Doctors use this information for studies and to decide on treatments.

As far as survival rates for prostate cancer go, however, the staging system is pretty simple. As we’ve mentioned, in terms of survival rates, men with prostate cancer can be divided into two groups:

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Can Prostate Cancer Be Completely Cured

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. The average age of diagnosis is 66 year olds, although it may affect younger men as well. By age 80, more than half of all men have some cancerous growth in their prostate.

Due to routine screening of prostate-specific antigen levels in the United States, nearly 90% of prostate cancers get detected in early stages. In most cases, the cancer is confined only to the prostate and does not spread to other organs. With the widespread use of screening tests in the United States, early diagnosis of prostate cancer has become much easier.

When found early, there are several treatment options available and prostate cancer has a high chance of getting cured. Moreover, prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that takes many years to become big enough to cause symptoms. It also takes quite long to spread to other organs. This gives sufficient time for the doctors to treat it.

Oncologists recommend patients to not rush and take some time to understand the various treatment options available after consulting with more than one doctor. Patients can discuss various modes of treatment with the doctor and select the most appropriate option for their prostate cancer.

The 5-year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is nearly 100%. There are more than three million survivors of prostate cancer in the United States today.

For Many Men Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer The Treatment May Be Worse Than The Disease

To screen or not to screen? For prostate cancerthe second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung cancerthat is the bedeviling question.

The dilemma springs the wide variation in the potential of prostate cancers to spread to the rest of the body. The vast majority of these malignancies, especially those discovered with the extensively used prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test, are slow-growing tumors that are unlikely to cause a man any harm during his lifetime. Yet in 10 to 15 percent of cases, the cancer is aggressive and advances beyond the prostate, sometimes turning lethal.

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A New Prostate Biopsy Technique

Dr. Allaway has developed an innovative technique for prostate biopsy that provides patients with a 30 percent better detection rate of malignancy, plus an almost zero percent infection rate.

Plus, theres a reduced risk for pain, bleeding and urinary retention with this new biopsy method, which is called PrecisionPoint Transperineal Access System.

The trans-perineal path, through a single puncture of the skin, allows for a more thorough sample of all the regions of the prostate gland, including sections that are difficult to access via the standard trans-rectal approach.

The practitioner holds the instrument in his hand, which allows more precision, and the biopsy needle avoids the rectal wall meaning, no potential for the transfer of fecal matter to the prostate, meaning very little risk of infection.

The trans-perineal method, done under local anesthesia, means the patient need not do any bowel preop or take pre-procedure antibiotics.

Dr. Allaway is the founder and CEO of Perineologic, a medical device company focused on the development and delivery of technology to improve the safety, precision and efficiency of healthcare options in the field of urology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.

Good Prostate Cancer Care

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Your MDT will be able to recommend what they feel are the best treatment options, but ultimately the decision is yours.

You should be able to talk with a named specialist nurse about treatment options and possible side effects to help you make a decision.

You should also be told about any clinical trials you may be eligible for.

If you have side effects from treatment, you should be referred to specialist services to help stop or ease these side effects.

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How We Treat Prostate Cancer

The prognosis for metastatic prostate cancer can be discouraging, but some treatment centerslike the Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancerspecialize in innovative, individualized therapy with the potential to improve outcomes.

Myth: Prostate Cancer Treatment Always Causes Incontinence

Fact: Next to sexual function, men worry most about urinary incontinence as a result of prostate cancer treatment. Sartor says sexual side effects are more common than the urinary side effects the year after surgery. The majority of people do not have significant urinary problems.

If you do have bladder problems, youre more likely to face minor leakage than major accidents and in most men, the situation is temporary or treatable.

To help ensure the best outcome after surgery, Sartor recommends looking for a surgeon who has performed the procedure many times surgeons who are on their 900th procedure, for example, not their 41st. Experience does matter, he says. Its important to consider.

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