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Stage 3 Prostate Cancer Survivor Stories

Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

Prostate Cancer SurvivorDennis’ Story

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. A mans individual survival depends on the stage of cancer. Most prostate cancers are identified at an early stage when they are organ-confined. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for men with local or regional prostate cancer is nearly 100%. The relative 10-year survival rate is 98% and the 15-year relative survival rate is 91%.

However, if the cancer is stage IVB and has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, liver, or bones there is only a 30% relative 5-year survival rate.

Things to consider when understanding the statistics:

  • These numbers/rates apply only for the first-diagnosed cancer
  • There are many more factors that can influence the survival rate of an individual
  • These rates are calculated over a 5-year period. Treatments improve over time and the survival rates may positively change.

Early detection makes this deadly disease curable. Do not ignore any prostate cancer signs or symptoms and get screened as early as possible, especially if you are at high risk of developing prostate cancer, based on your family history, race or age. Talk to your doctor about your Gleason Score, Grade Group and Stage and decide upon the best treatment option for prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Staging And Survival Rates

Staging is a method of describing where the cancer is located, where it has spread, and whether it is affecting other parts of the body.

Prostate cancer staging is based on a number of different factors, including prostate cancer screening tests, such as the digital rectal exam and the prostate-specific antigen test.

Doctors use diagnostic tests to determine cancers stage. Staging may not be complete until these tests are finalized. Knowing the correct stage helps the doctor decide the best course of treatment and the possible outcomes.

Staging Spread And Survival Rates

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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Second Cancer And Moving Forward

“I was in California visiting two of my children and their children, just taking a shower one morning when my head started bleeding. I was used to having sensitive skin from the prostate cancer treatment, so at first, I didn’t think much of it, but the area wouldn’t stop bleeding.

“It took nearly 35 minutes to stop bleeding. Since I was headed back to Buffalo the next day, I immediately scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist in Clarence. When the results came back they looked serious. I decided that since I was already a patient at Roswell, I would make an appointment with Dermatology at Roswell Park to have it looked at.”

Denny met with Wesley Hicks, MD, Chairman of the Head and Neck Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department, who diagnosed him with a somewhat rare spindle cell carcinoma. “Dr. Hicks told me that the cancer had not spread outside of the dermal layers of skin and that the situation was serious, but not critical. They removed the cancer along with an area of skin about the size a hockey puck from my scalp. Dr. Can Ozturk did a great job on the follow-up plastic surgery,” says Denny. “Between the treatment teams for my prostate cancer and now this carcinoma, I have had excellent care from both the doctors and nursing staff at Roswell Park.”

What Happens Now This Doctor Wants To Help Survivors Navigate The Answer

Giving prostate cancer the finger

In her work as Director of the Cancer Survivorship Division at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and beyond, Dr. Melissa Hudson is helping ensure that pediatric cancer survivors are able to get the care they need.

She rolled up her sleeves and said, I know I gotta do this, said Dr. Melissa Hudson, about a mother whose child survived a complicated brain tumor. She was able to get the care her child needed, but it shouldnt have been so difficult, said Dr. Hudson, director of the Cancer Survivorship Division at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. We need to do better at connecting pediatric cancer survivors to care and resources.

A better understanding of cancer biology and treatment gained over the past 50 years has contributed to an increase in pediatric cancer survivors. Studies looking at whether treatment intensity can be reduced without making it less effectivecalled de-escalation trialsled to changes like radiation being reduced or eliminated because we realized we were overtreating, said Dr. Hudson. Diagnostic and clinical care improvements also emerged, such as using imaging instead of surgery to determine the stage of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Ultimately, its vital to not only reduce the negative impact that cancer treatments can have on a persons quality of life, but also ensure cancer survivors have access to the care they need, so that they can do more than just survivethey can thrive.

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Sea Stories: Quotes Of Hope

– Arthur Fowle Newnan, Georgia– Don Trappler – Cape May, New Jersey– Ray & Marilyn Barba Florence, Oregon– Jeff Shea – Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Since 2012, the Us TOO prostate cancer support group in Rochester NY has conducted monthly patient education seminars on a wide variety of topics – one topic per month, facilitated by a local urologist, oncologist or subject matter expert. However, when I attended the Austin Us TOO Community Conversation online, I was truly impressed by a number of observations:

  • It was very easy for this senior citizen with limited computer skills to get logged into the conversation.
  • In just a couple of hours the program covered the importance of early detection, staging, imaging techniques, and risk vs. benefit of multiple treatment options including surgery and radiation and even hot-button topics like proton beam radiation, stereotactic radiation, and the recently FDA approved HIFU.
  • Most impressive was that in just a couple of hours, and in the convenience of my home with my morning coffee at my side, this online conversation covered topics that takes our support group a full year of monthly meetings, and scheduling a dozen urologists or oncologists, to discuss.
  • I felt like I was actually attending the conference.

– Walt DArdenne Santa Cruz, California– Howard Waage, Facilitator, Santa Cruz County Prostate Cancer Support Group– Roy and Helen Francis Mornington Peninsula, Australia– Jack David Marcus New York City, New York

Alberto: Head And Neck Cancer Survivor

Alberto Centeno had already been through a bout of stomach cancer in 2008. But in 2013, new symptoms brought him to his local ear, nose, and throat doctor, who scheduled an appointment for him with Dr. Benjamin Judson, Assistant Professor of Surgery and head and neck surgeon at Yale Cancer Center. Albertos diagnosis: throat cancer.

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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.

The Decision To Screen Early

Prostate Cancer Survivor: Joe Rubio’s story

Because of his family history, Wesley began going in for screening 20 years ago at age 40. For two years, his PSA and digital rectal exam showed nothing suspicious. The doctor told him to come back when he turned 50.

But Wesley came back the next year anyway, and this time the doctor felt something abnormal on the DRE. A prostate biopsy followed, and small areas of cancer were found in 2 out of 9 samples. Like about 15% of men with prostate cancer, Wesleys PSA level was still in the normal range when the cancer was found. Remarkably, his was only 0.6. Most healthy men have levels under 4, so Wesleys PSA level alone would not have triggered a biopsy.

Wesley learned of the diagnosis in his urologists office. He said, You have a prostate cancer diagnosis. I didnt remember another word. When you hear the words, You have cancer, you dont remember any other words.

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How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed

Doctors describe the growth and spread of prostate cancer in stages. Doctors use these stages as guides when choosing treatment options or offering prognoses to their patients.

Prostate cancer staging is based on a number of different factors, including prostate cancer screening tests such as a digital rectal exam or prostate-specific antigen test and imaging studies like bones scans, MRIs, CT scans, and trans-rectal ultrasounds.

Find A Treatment That Suits You

Hank Curry doesnt take life lying down. He hauls hay and competes in roping competitions. So when the Gardnerville, Nevada resident was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2011, he adopted the same approach to fighting cancer.

Currys doctors encouraged him to have surgery. After all, the cancer was pretty advanced. When he had a biopsy, doctors checked 16 places on the prostate for the presence of cancer. All 16 came back positive.

They said they felt there was a good chance the cancer had spread out of the prostate itself and into my abdominal cavity. They told me we could remove it, but there was no guarantee they would get it all, he says. If youre going through the inconvenience and surgery and the pain to have that surgery and it still might not eliminate the cancer, I realized that wasnt the surgery for me.

Instead, Curry underwent 9 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week. He then received Lupron injections to keep his body from producing testosterone that could fuel a recurrence of his cancer. He started his treatments in January 2012 and ended them 8 months later in August.

During his treatments, Curry maintained a regular physical regimen, ate well, and tried to keep his body in shape. This helped him regain his strength and continue with hay hauling. I dont feel like Im a wimp or anything.

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Sea Stories About Prostate Cancer Support Education & advocacy

SEA Stories are real life accounts of personal experiences with prostate cancer. These stories highlight the importance of Support, Education and Advocacy within the prostate cancer community. We would like to show the full range of what people are experiencing, so what you read here might be sad, funny, confusing, beautiful, angry, or triumphant. Some deal specifically with our SEA Blue Prostate Cancer Walk & Run. We would like to showcase as many stories as possible and we will continue to add to this page.

Horst ElendtLong-Time SEA Blue Participant, Us TOO Support Group Attendee and Prostate Cancer WarriorDebbie TrincoCaptain of SEA Blue Team Trinco

No Stranger To Hard Work


I would recommend it to anyone.” Gregory Trotta, da Vinci Patient

Working in a steel fabrication shop, Gregory Trotta is no stranger to hard work. But when an elevated PSA level led to a prostate cancer diagnosis, Trotta thought his work and family life would be drastically interrupted.

Then, he was referred to Jayant Uberoi, MD, a prostate cancer specialist at MedStar Franklin Square.

Dr. Uberoi explained Trottas options and recommended da Vinci robotic surgery, a non-invasive alternative that requires a very small incision and usually a one-night hospital stay. Trotta was an excellent candidate for da Vinci surgery because of his age and low PSA level.

I had no real pain and minimal blood loss, Trotta explains. The surgery didnt knock me down.

Trotta was back to work after only two weeks, versus conventional surgery, which usually requires six to eight weeks off work. His fast return to his daily activities and the excellent care he received at MedStar Franklin Square lead Trotta to one conclusion: was the right choice. I know it.

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Cancer Survivorship Is As Unique As The Survivor

There are nearly 17 million cancer survivors in the United States, and each will contend with the effects of their diagnosis and treatment in different ways. Personalized treatment options continue to be studied, but as the number of survivors keeps growing, research is also being devoted to finding ways to improve overall care and well-being so that survivors can go on to live longer, healthier lives.

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.

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Bruces Prostate Cancer Story: Gleason Score 8/9 Stage 4a

Bruce shares his stage 4A prostate cancer story, Gleason score 8/9, which began with a diagnosis at just 51 years old. He details going through a radical prostatectomy , salvage radiation, and hormone therapy.

Explore Bruces in-depth story below, where he highlights many important quality of life topics, including the impact of hormone therapy on sexual function, the importance of self-advocacy and awareness, why its important for men to share their stories and ask questions, and the transition to survivorship.

  • Name: Bruce M.

Meet Bruce

Tell us about yourself outside of cancer

Passionate about scuba diving though I dont get to do it often now. Ive been diving since I was a little kid. My older sister scuba dove and got us into that. Used to live in California and did that as a youngster.

I became a scuba instructor in 1983. The first instructor class held in Egypt is where I got my instructor certification.

I was there for a couple of years with my then-girlfriend now-wife, Lisa, whom I met in college in California .

I love diving into the water. Its very comfortable!

Video: Bruce on Getting Diagnosed

The Patient Storys YouTube

First Symptoms and Test

What were the first symptoms

I noticed that I couldnt really control the velocity of my urination. Whether that was due to the prostate cancer or not, Im not positive specifically, but at the time it was a bit concerning. But I was also getting older.

What happened at the first doctor visit
What is the PSA test

Joes Story: Comparing Cyberknife To Standard Radiation

Colorectal Cancer Survivor Story | Stage 3 Survivor Cormeshia

Treatment with CyberKnife is like a day at the beach. Standard radiation for my throat was torture.

When Joe Aviles was diagnosed with prostate cancer during his annual physical, it came as quite a shock. I said Wow. I had prostate cancer, and I didnt have any symptoms, nothing, no problems.

Joe admits he was scared about treatment. When I talked to other guys I heard horror stories. Doctors took out their prostate or they had too much radiation and now they cant hold their urine or get erections.

Joes doctor told him all of his options: he could do watchful waiting, surgery to remove the prostate, standard radiation treatments, or have CyberKnife radiosurgery therapy.

There was no way I was going to have my prostate taken out and with standard radiation, treatment would take over two months, but then my doctor told me about the CyberKnife and that seemed like a better way to go. There was no cutting, no surgery, and treatment was finished in two weeks.

Joe went to the CyberKnife Center of Miami and met with a radiation oncologist, He treated it like it was no big deal. He assured me this was a good way to go. He said, Dont worry, youre a young man, and youll live to be an old man.

Joe was a good candidate for this non-invasive treatment because the tumor was small and contained in the prostate.

Because the CyberKnifes radiation beam is so precise, its much less likely to damage surrounding healthy tissue, therefore resulting in fewer side effects.

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