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Can You Live 20 Years With Prostate Cancer

General Prostate Cancer Survival Rate

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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

What Types Of Testing Should I Expect For Monitoring My Condition

Since metastatic prostate cancer isnt curable, your doctor will most likely set up regular visits to check the cancers location, and to manage any long-term side effects from the cancer or any medication youre taking.

And since treatments for advanced prostate cancer are changing so fast and need to be given in a certain sequence to be the most effective, youll probably have not only a prostate cancer doctor but other specialists taking care of you. Your care team should coordinate closely, say the authors of a major study of such teams published in August 2015 in the journal Annals of Oncology.

Along with regularly testing your prostate-specific antigen levels, your care team may request blood tests that measure such prostate cancer indicators as alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. Magnetic resonance imaging or PET scans of the spine or other bones can also help identify how your cancer responds to treatment.

If youve had radiation, youre at an increased risk for bladder and colorectal cancer and should get screened regularly for these as well.

The tests youll have and how often youll need them should be customized to you. Your care team will consider your overall health, medications that are safe for you to take, other health conditions you might have, and what stage your cancer was when you were diagnosed.

Your Cancer Care Team

People with cancer should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team . This is a team of specialists who work together to provide the best care and treatment.

The team often consists of specialist cancer surgeons, oncologists , radiologists, pathologists, radiographers and specialist nurses.

Other members may include physiotherapists, dietitians and occupational therapists. You may also have access to clinical psychology support.

When deciding what treatment is best for you, your doctors will consider:

  • the type and size of the cancer
  • what grade it is

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Should I Make Any Lifestyle Changes Including In My Diet Or Physical Activity

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active, can help your overall health. These lifestyle changes can also have a positive effect for men with bone metastases, Tagawa says. Both diet and exercise, he says, are things that are under a mans direct control.

A healthy lifestyle can help you better manage side effects from treatment as well. Try setting small but realistic goals for yourself when it comes to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.

While no single food is likely to have a benefit for prostate cancer, smart food choices may help you feel better day to day. Start by cutting out foods high in sugar, saturated fat, and added flavorings and preservatives.

If youre not sure which healthy foods to choose, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. This specialist can help you develop a meal plan that includes foods that offer the best chance of slowing the cancers growth and keeping you as healthy as possible.

As an oncologist, Tagawa says he concentrates on treating the cancer itself, but hes aware that many of the men he sees with advanced prostate cancer are older and more likely than younger men to have health problems that can benefit from diet and exercise.

And if youre on hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about investing in some weights or elastic resistance bands to support your bone strength too.

Outlook For Men With Advanced Prostate Cancer

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While it isnt possible to cure advanced prostate cancer, treatments can help keep it under control, often for several years. Treatments will also help manage any symptoms, such as pain.

Some men may not respond well to one treatment, but may respond better to another. And when your first treatment stops working, there are other treatments available to help keep the cancer under control for longer.

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Prostate Cancer Survival Rate By Age

The age of the patient at the time he receives a diagnosis is a highly influential factor in the way the prostate tumor is going to evolve. Given that prostate tumors exhibit peculiar traits in younger men, the peak survival rate is attained in the middle age groups. From there, the survival starts dropping once more. Lets take a look at the numbers:

  • 15-49 age group: 91% prostate cancer survival rate
  • 50-59 age group: 92% prostate cancer survival rate
  • 60-69 age group: 94% prostate cancer survival rate
  • 70-79 age group: 89% prostate cancer survival rate
  • 80-99 age group: 66% prostate cancer survival rate.

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What Should I Expect As My Cancer Progresses

How does prostate cancer spread?

Prostate cancer cells can move from the prostate to other parts of the body through the blood stream. Or they can spread to the lymph nodes near the prostate and then travel through the lymph vessels to other parts of your body. Lymph nodes and lymph vessels are part of your lymphatic system and are found throughout your body.

Prostate cancer most commonly spreads to the bones and lymph nodes. It can also spread to, or press on, the tube you urinate through , the bladder, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder and part of the bowel . Prostate cancer may spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and liver. But this is less common.

If tests and scans show that your cancer is spreading, ask your doctor what will happen next. This can help you and your family prepare for what to expect. Find out more about advanced prostate cancer and treatments.

Watch our video about advanced prostate cancer.

How does prostate cancer cause problems?

Prostate cancer can cause problems if it is pressing on your bones or nerves. It can also cause problems by stopping your normal cells from working properly.

What problems can advanced prostate cancer cause?

The symptoms and problems you have will depend on where the cancer has spread to. Even though your cancer is still growing, you will still be able to have treatment to help manage these problems.

Advanced prostate cancer problems may include:

What should I look out for?

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Can I Survive Advanced Prostate Cancer Whats The Prognosis

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men, according to the National Cancer Institute. While theres no cure, men can live with it for years if they get the right treatment. Each man with advanced prostate cancer is different, of course. You and your cancer have unique qualities that your doctor takes into consideration when planning the best treatment strategy for you.

According to Harvard Medical School, the prognosis for men with advanced prostate cancer is improving because of newer medications that help them get past a resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy that typically develops after a few years of treatment. With these medications, many men are living longer, and a number of men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer are dying with the cancer, not from it.

Promptly treating prostate cancer bone metastases with the newest medication can help change a mans prognosis dramatically, Tagawa says. There are men who do well for decades, he says. Some men can even stop treatment, go on to live many years, and actually die of something unrelated.

Tagawa says that cancer specialists who use sophisticated imaging technologies, like positron-emission tomography scans, have gotten very good at finding even tiny bone metastases, which is valuable in diagnosing and removing early stage metastases.

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Survival By Disease Progression

Life Expectancy with Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

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%.

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Symptomatic treatment of an enlarged prostate usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be the best option if you suffer from chronic urination. It will help the body adjust to the increased size of the prostate. Also, taking regular urination intervals will help retrain the bladder to function properly. Inactivity also contributes to urine retention, and cold temperatures can increase the urge to urinate.

Invasive treatment of enlarged prostate includes medication that relieves the pressure on the urethra and bladder. However, if the condition is severe, it may require surgical intervention. If treatment is not successful, the enlarged prostate can become a potentially life-threatening disease. As the hormone levels in the body change, the enlarged prostate can lead to various complications, including urinary retention and even cancer. This is why it is critical to see a doctor for further evaluation.

Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

When this happens, you may notice things like:

  • an increased need to pee
  • straining while you pee
  • a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied

These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer.

Its more likely theyre caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.

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Prostate Cancer Is Common With Aging

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. And these are just the men who are diagnosed. Among very elderly men dying of other causes, a surprising two-thirds may have prostate cancer that was never diagnosed.

Only 1 in 36 men, though, actually dies from prostate cancer. That’s because most prostate cancers are diagnosed in older men in whom the disease is more likely to be slow-growing and non-aggressive. The majority of these men eventually pass away from heart disease, stroke, or other causes — not their prostate cancer.

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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Cellular Traces

Another type of prostate issue is chronic prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This condition causes pain in the lower back and groin area, and may cause urinary retention. Symptoms include leaking and discomfort. In severe cases, a catheter may be required to relieve the symptoms. If the problem is unresponsive to other treatments, your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure. If these do not work, your symptoms could progress and become chronic.

An acute bacterial infection can cause a burning sensation. Inflammation of the prostate can affect the bladder and result in discomfort and other symptoms. This is the most common urinary tract problem in men under 50, and the third most common in men over 65. The symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis are similar to those of CPPS. Patients may experience a fever or chills as a result of the infection.

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Stage 4 Prostate Cancer: Survival Rates Treatment And Support

Prostate cancer is in stage 4 when the cancer spreads beyond the lymph nodes and into other areas of the body. While the vast majority of prostate cancer cases are caught before this happens, when the cancer is treatable, stage 4 is far more difficult to treat. Therefore, the survival rate among men with stage 4 prostate cancer is much lower.

There are two types of stage 4 prostate cancer: 4A and 4B, according to the American Cancer Society. The type assigned to a persons diagnosis is based on whether the cancer has spread and to what degree, and the value assigned to two additional factors called the Grade Group and the prostate-specific antigen . The Grade Group is a measure of how likely the cancer is to spread quickly, and the PSA is a measure of a protein in the blood produced by cells in the prostate.

With stage 4A, the tumor has already spread into the lymph nodes and may be spreading into tissues adjacent to the prostate, but has not spread to other areas of the body. The Grade Group can be of any value, as can the PSA.

With stage 4B, the tumor may have spread into the lymph nodes, may be spreading into nearby tissues and has spread to other areas of the body like the bones, certain organs and distant lymph nodes. The Grade Group and PSA can be of any value.

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Stage 4 Patients Can Live For Years

The 5 year survival rates listed in the chart above are NOT intended to scare you, but rather to inform you of the average, approximate ratesfor each type of cancer we have explored in this article. The fact is, Stage 4 cancer patients can live for YEARS, and these statistics are just that, statistics. They do not define your experience and do not mean that you cannot beat cancer and thrive!

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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.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Man With Prostate Cancer

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The life expectancy of a man with prostate cancer is favorable. Most of the aged men detected of prostate cancer die of other comorbidities. The life expectancy is as follows:

  • Almost 100% of men who have early-stage prostate cancer will survive more than 5 years after diagnosis.
  • Men with advanced prostate cancer or whose cancer has spread to other regions have lesser survival rates. About one-third will survive for 5 years after diagnosis.

The longer-term survival rates for early-stage prostate cancer include:

  • The relative 10-year survival rate is 98%.
  • The relative 15-year survival rate is 96%.

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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.

What Is Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and your healthcare provider has indicated that your cancer appears to not have spread beyond the prostate gland, you have what is known as clinically localized prostate cancer. Sometimes, healthcare providers will also call cancer that has spread into the lining of the prostate gland clinically localized.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, about 90 percent of men with prostate cancer have localized prostate cancer, and it is typically considered low-risk, meaning patients can expect to live long after their diagnosis, in many cases even without treatment.

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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.10 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.11,12

Chodak and associates12 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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