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.
Impact Of Age On Treatment
The rising number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is a result of increasing life expectancy as well as the current practice of screening by prostate-specific antigen blood tests. Besides PSA and Gleason score, age is considered a key prognostic factor in treatment decision making. Although organ-confined disease can be cured by radical prostatectomy and full-dose local radiation therapy, treatment options for advanced- stage disease remain palliative. They include active surveillance, or watchful waiting, early versus delayed hormonal therapy to control disease progression, and continuous or intermittent androgen deprivation. Observational studies of older men with early stage disease have suggested conservative management as a viable option.,
Chodak and associates evaluated 828 men who were managed expectantly in a series of nonrandomized trials. Median follow-up was approximately 6.5 years. Patients with poorly differentiated cancers had a 10-fold increased risk of death from prostate cancer as compared with men showing highly differentiated prostate cancer. A 5-year disease-specific survival of only 34% was found in men with poorly differentiated prostate cancer. In contrast a 5-year disease-specific survival of 87% was described in men with well-or moderately differentiated cancers.
Prostate Cancer Survival Trends Over Time
As with most cancers, survival for prostate cancer is improving. However, interpretation of prostate cancer survival trends is difficult as the case-mix on which they are based is likely to have changed over time with earlier diagnoses following the advent of TURP and PSA testing. The detection of a greater proportion of latent, earlier, slow-growing tumours in more recent time periods will have the effect of raising survival rates due to lead-time bias . Lead-time bias for prostate cancer is estimated to be between five and 12 years, varying with a man’s age at screening. Data from the European Randomized Study of Prostate Cancer estimates that for a single screening test, mean lead times are 12 years at age 55 and six years at age 75. Some of the increase may also be attributed to genuine improvements in survival due to more effective treatment, for both early, aggressive prostate cancers and advanced cases.
One-year age-standardised net survival for prostate cancer has increased from 66% during 1971-1972 to 94% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales an absolute survival difference of 28 percentage points.
Prostate Cancer , Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Men , England and Wales, 1971-2011
Prostate Cancer , Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Men , England and Wales, 1971-2011
Prostate Cancer , Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Men , England and Wales, 1971-2011
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Preventing The Fear Factor
I have written many blogs on lifestyle factors that experts consider worthwhile for reducing PCa risk: diet, exercise, stress management, and a supportive social network with positive family/friend relationships. In fact, an interesting longevity study demonstrated that modifiable lifestyle factors can help men over age 70 live to an even riper old age with good health.
The 2008 study was titled Exceptional longevity in men: modifiable factors associated with survival and function to age 90 years. The research team used data from the Physicians Health Study . These were records on 2357 healthy men, average age 72 at the time of their enrollment. Based on their baseline physical health and lifestyle compared with their self-report and medical records 16 years later, 41% survived to at least age 90! The study showed that
a 70-year-old man has a 54% chance of reaching the age of 90 if he does not smoke or have diabetes, has healthy weight and blood pressure, and exercises. But cutting out exercise and becoming more sedentary reduces the chances of reaching 90 to 44%. The chances dropped further with high blood pressure , obesity and smoking . Any three of these cut the chances of living to 90 to 14%.
NOTE: This content is solely for purposes of information and does not substitute for diagnostic or medical advice. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pelvic pain, or have any other health concerns or questions of a personal medical nature.
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 After Age 70
It now looks like theres another age-related threat for men over age 70: prostate cancer . A recent paper out of Cleveland Clinic analyzed the diagnostic and follow-up records of 2018 prostatectomy patients older than 70. The research team collected data on patients preoperative clinical factors, extraprostatic extension , and postoperative features . They then calculated the statistical association between these factors and biochemical failure . For comparison, they did a parallel analysis of matched patients ages 50-70 with similar PCa features to determine the effect of age on treatment failure.
Prostate Cancer In Central America/caribbean
Among the Central American countries, Costa Rica leads with an ASR of 53.8 cases per 100,000 people, followed by Mexico and Cuba with 28.9 and 24.3 cases per 100,000 people respectively . Unfortunately, epidemiological data are scarse for those regions. Trends are available only for Costa Rica which showed an annual increase in incidence of 3.8% per annum over the period 19972008. ASR on mortality put Belize at first place with 28.9 cases per 100,000 people followed by Cuba and Mexico with 24.1 and 17.0 cases per 100,000 people for the period 20032010, respectively. Costa Rica stops at 14.8 cases per 100,000 people . The most recent data on Central America published by GLOBOCAN 2020 shows an ASR incidence of 43.8 and mortality of 11.0 cases per 100,000 people . No active screening program are currently in place in Central America. Between 2004 and 2006, in Monterrey a screening program was run, using PSA and DRE screening of 973 men, 40 years of age, showed that only 44% of the men who had an abnormal result underwent prostate biopsy, and 27% of these were diagnosed with prostate cancer, mostly with high grade lesions .
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General Prostate Cancer Survival Rate
According to the American Cancer Society:
- The relative 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%
- The relative 10-year survival rate is 98%
- The 15-year relative survival rate is 91%
Note: Relative survival rate means the percentage of patients who live amount of years after their initial diagnosis.
Keep in mind, however, that because the compiled list figures are of cancers diagnosed up to 15 years ago, you may have an even greater chance of survival than these indicate due to advances in prostate cancer treatment technology
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Does Overdiagnosis Lead To Overtreatment Of Older Men
The widespread use of PSA screening has led to an increase in the diagnosis and treatment of early localized prostate cancer. Data from the US Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor database suggest a significant decrease in risk in the last 2 decades in the United States, with more patients being identified with low-risk disease at diagnosis, but the role of active treatment of low- and intermediate-risk disease in elderly men remains controversial.
The median time from diagnosis to death from prostate cancer for men with nonpalpable disease is approximately 17 years., Considering that the US male life expectancy at the age of 65 years is 16 years, aggressive therapy will hardly extend life expectancy of older men with no palpable prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis. Twenty to 30% of prostate cancers detected by PSA screening programs show Gleason scores of 6 or lower and, thus, are not poorly differentiated and have volumes smaller than 0.5 cm3.
Histologic evaluation of radical prostatectomy specimens demonstrated that about 20% to 30% of cancers are small volume, show low Gleason scores, and are consequently clinically harmless., Many of these cancers pose little threat to life, especially for older men. Has PSA screening resulted in prostate cancer overdiagnosis?
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Who Gets This Cancer
Prostate cancer occurs only in men, and it is more common in older men than younger men. It is more likely to occur in men with a family history of prostate cancer and men of African American descent. The rate of new cases of prostate cancer was 111.3 per 100,000 men per year based on 20142018 cases, age-adjusted.
Rate of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Prostate Cancer
SEER 21 20142018, All Races, Males
How Common Is Prostate Cancer
About one in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer affecting males. Close to 200,000 American men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer every year. There are many successful treatments and some men dont need treatment at all. Still, approximately 33,000 men die from the disease every year.
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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.
Treatments To Control And Prevent Symptoms Caused By The Spread Of Prostate Cancer To The Bones
Palliative External beam radiotherapy
Radiopharmaceuticals: Strontium-89 , samarium-153
Radium-223 dichloride is now licensed and called Xofigo. This is not widely available in the UK but BPC is one of a relatively small number of specialist centres using this treatment.
Zolidronic acid a bisphosphonate given by a 15 minute intravenous infusion every 34 weeks. It reduces the risk of bone complications, including pain and fractures.
Xgeva : this is a newly licensed drug available at BPC.
Surgery may be undertaken to treat bone fractures or to relief the pressure on the spinal cord by bone metastases.
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Prognosis For Prostate Cancer
It is not possible for a doctor to predict the exact course of a disease, as it will depend on each person’s individual circumstances. However, your doctor may give you a prognosis, the likely outcome of the disease, based on the type of prostate cancer you have, the test results, the rate of tumour growth, as well as your age, fitness and medical history.
Prostate cancer often grows slowly and even more aggressive types tend to grow more slowly than other types of cancer. If diagnosed early, prostate cancer has one of the highest five year survival rates.
What Is The Normal Gleason Score
Theoretically, Gleason scores range from 2-10. However, since Dr. Gleasons original classification, pathologists almost never assign scores 2-5, and Gleason scores assigned will range from 6 to 10, with 6 being the lowest grade cancer.
Otherwise, is a Gleason score of 9 a death sentence?
Not all men with Gleason 8-10 disease are going to do badly after treatment. There is a perception among a lot of patients especially when they get diagnosed that having a high Gleason score of 8, 9, or 10 is essentially a death sentence, regardless of how they get treated. This is not actually the case at all.
Although, is Gleason score the same as PSA? A Gleason score of 8 or higher, accompanied by a PSA level of higher than 20 ng/ml and a more advanced tumor stage, signifies a high risk of advancing cancer. In high-risk cases, the prostate cancer tissue looks very different from normal tissue.
So too, what is a Gleason score of 7 mean?
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.
What if prostate biopsy is positive?
If prostate cancer is found on a biopsy, it will be assigned a grade. The grade of the cancer is based on how abnormal the cancer looks under the microscope. Higher grade cancers look more abnormal, and are more likely to grow and spread quickly.
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Managing Bone Pain And Weakness
Symptoms like nausea, hot flashes, and pain can usually be relieved with medication. Some people find that complimentary treatments like acupuncture or massage help manage side effects.
Your doctor may also recommend orthopedic surgery to stabilize your bones, relieve pain, and help prevent bone fractures.
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Prostate Cancer Mortality Rate In Canada
In recent years Prostate cancer mortality rate in Canada significantly decreases due to better health facilities, new treatment options of prostate cancer and measurements taken by Canadian government to reduce the mortality rate of prostate cancer in Canada.According to some surveys and research data current mortality rate is 6.6 per 100,000 Canadian men.
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Survival Rates For Prostate Cancer
Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. These rates cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.
Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Talk with your doctor about how these numbers may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with your situation.
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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Whos At Risk For Prostate Cancer
All men are at risk of having prostate cancer. About one man in nine will be diagnosed with it during their lifetime, but only one in 39 will die of this disease. About 80% of men who reach age 80 have cancer cells in their prostate. Besides being male, there are other things that contribute to the risk.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get prostate cancer?
- What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
- Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
- What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
- If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
- Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.
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