Stage 4 Prostate Cancer Survivor Urges Every Man For The Sake Of All Who Love Him Get A Screening Life Is Precious
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Euvon Jones admits he took his health for granted. “I had great health all the way into my late 50’s,” says the Accokeek, Maryland resident. “I worked, went to the gym, and had an active life. I didn’t think it was necessary to check on my health or get screenings.” But when a limp from hip pain and diminishing appetite and energy levels could no longer be ignored, he went to the doctor. The news was not good. At age 59, Euvon was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. “Getting that diagnosis just about floored me,” he says.
Euvons PSA was 398. A normal PSA is 4 for a man his age. Euvons cancer was most likely silently growing for years, and a screening could have caught it. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. One in eight men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during their lifetime, but most will make a full recovery when the disease is caught early. Being aware of your risks and ensuring timely PSA screening can make all the difference.
Ultimately, Euvon choose immunotherapy, a process that stimulates a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively.
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.
Improvements In Life Expectancy
A decade ago, a man with metastatic prostate cancer would typically have a life expectancy of two to three years. Today, life expectancy for men with the same advanced disease is likely to be five to six years. In the UK the survival rate for men with stage 4 prostate cancer is approximately 50%, meaning that 50 out of every 100 men will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer*. There is now a much broader range of chemotherapy drugs available for men with advanced disease with greater efficacy . We also have better treatments to control the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer, such as pain from metastases. In this section, we consider in more detail the different treatments that are available and evidence for their effectiveness.
Side Effects Of A Prostatectomy
While still gaining his ability to control his incontinence, one night in Italy, Dans son joked during dinner, it was wrongfully funny, so much so, Dan left a wet pool on the seat- a moment Dan regaled with exuberant laughter, what could I do? Dan with a keen sensibility, whose decisions have kept him grounded, who still laughs and jokes about lifes unexpectedness, would not let the temporary effects of his prostatectomy deter him from thriving.
In his testimonial, Dan addresses the realities of having a robotic assisted prostatectomy Urinary Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction . If you can take cancer out, take it out, Dan says, addressing an issue that many men feel unresolved about losing partial abilities to be fully intimate. Fortunately, three weeks after his surgery, Dans ability to control urination fully came back, and according to Dan, his ED should start to resolve itself as well. Symptoms such as UI and ED are normal and can be resolved.
Dan discloses that this decision was his as much as his wifes both agreed this would result in the best outcomes for them and the family, regardless of intimacy. Dans resolution was observed when he candidly shared he had no regrets.
Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Investigators Ponder New Path To Improve Survival
I am convinced that treating early and hard is better than late and less, said urologic oncologist Judd W. Moul, MD, the James H. Semans Distinguished Professor of Urologic Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, who has been extensively involved with clinical trials of prostate cancer therapies. Some doctors still hold the good stuff in their back pocket and avoid or delay the most effective options up front.
Starting multiple therapies earlier in the disease course seems to provide the most benefit, said prostate cancer investigator Jonathan E. Shoag, MD, Associate Professor of Urology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, both in Cleveland, Ohio.
Despite all of the scientific advancements, metastatic prostate cancer is still a bad disease, Dr Shoag said. The goal should be preventing cancer from becoming metastatic in the first place. We can do this by screening, diagnosing, and intervening in the disease course earlier.
Advanced molecular imaging, such as positron emission tomography , should be used to identify metastasis as early as possible, before it spreads to distant anatomic sites, according to investigators. Potent treatments should be considered at this stage. Physicians also should try to delay development of both metastasis and castration-resistant prostate cancer , which clinical trial data suggest is possible.
The Expanding Armamentarium
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Staging And Grading For Stage 4 Cancer
Most cancers are staged using some form of the TNM system. Doctors may also use the TNM system to help determine the extent of certain cancers in each stage. The TNM system stands for:
- T , or the size of the original tumor
- N , or whether the cancer is present in the lymph nodes
- M , or whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body
Not all cancers are staged using the TNM system, though. Some cancers, especially liquid cancers, are staged through different established protocols. The Binet and Rai systems, for example, are used to stage certain types of leukemia. Female reproductive system cancers, such as cervical cancer, are staged with a separate staging system created by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics .
As your care team gathers information about your cancer for the purposes of staging, they may need to order several tests, including:
Your care team may likely also need to perform a biopsy, a procedure that involves removing a sample of cells and analyzing it for signs of cancer. Imaging scans may be able to tell your care team where your cancer is, but looking at the cancer cells specifically tell them how fast they are likely to growor what grade they are.
Grading is different from staging and is done for most, but not all, cancers.
The grade of your cancer is part of how your cancer care team stages your cancer and determines your prognosis, or outlook.
Any Stage Iv Success Stories
|Feb 21, 2012 5:34 pm
My Moms biopsy results just came back and what the doctors had originally thought was a sarcoma came back as a carcinoma, originating in the uterus.
My Dad didnt ask any more but her appointment with the Gyn Oncologist is in a couple of weeks. Until then, we are just waiting and feeding her the best foods we know how. I hate the waiting and feel like we should be doing something else.
Meanwhile, she has a large tumor in her right leg , which we thought was the primary, but its not. Its so painful that she can hardly walk any longer and must use a walker for the little walking she does do. It is also in her left leg, pelvis and lungs.
The doctors said its slightly easier to treat, however when she first when in 2 weeks ago they said it was too advanced to treat .
We are looking into alternative treatments as well and since there seems to be more active voices on this discussion board verses the sarcoma one, I thought I would ask for some hope.
She wont talk about it either, which is hard. I am so sorry all of you having to go through all of this.I just never knew.until now.J
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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.
Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
Am new to this and unsure where to even start. Husband has had a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Gleason score of 8, MRI suggested spread to some lymph nodes and bone scan initially clear. Subsequent PET scan has revealed a suspected spot in his lower spine. Feeling utterly terrified after some initial googling on survival rates. He has begun hormone therapy and will have chemo. Has anyone been through similar and defied the odds? Any advice on where to find clinical trials? Am grateful that it only seems to be in one small area of bone and hoping this means it can be stopped in its tracks? He is in general good health and not feeling unwell.
Thank you so much for reading,
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Raffaella: Breast Cancer Survivor
Raffaella Zanuttinis busy life as a Professor of Linguistics at Yale, as a wife, and as a mother of two boys, 12 and 15, does not leave her much spare time. So when her February mammogram showed more calcifications lined up in a suspicious pattern and the nurses at the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital recommended she have a biopsy, she was not ready to act. After having the biopsy done, Rafaella was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ . She made an appointment with Dr. Anees Chagpar, Director of the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital.
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Some Cancer Survival Statistics
Well, today were losing one person out of every two people with cancer. Now look back a 100 years ago. You know cancer wasnt even talked about hardly at all. And now were losing one out of two!
And the veterinarians are worse off than the medical doctors. Theyre losing one dog out of every 1.85 dogs. And Ive got some veterinarians now that are very excited about my program. Because I told them You guys are worse than the medical profession. What do you mean?! What do you mean?! I kind of get under their hide a little bit. Then I tell them, Listen, heres the reason. Or heres the statistics on it. 1 out of every 1.85 dogs die of cancer today. 1 out of 2 people die of cancer. So the medical doctors are doing a horrible job but theyre doing a better job than you guys are. Well then, he asks me, What do you think the reason is for that, Dennis?
Heres a vet asking me! Im not a vet, but I have the answer. I said If you could recommend a scientific dog food, and the other kind of dog foods out there, its the food thats killing people and killing dogs and giving them cancer. Thats why theyre dying. Really? I said Yeah, really. So we talked about that, and because I gave him that challenge What would you do? and so I told him. And so now hes enjoying some high, high, high survival rates with his pets, cats and dogs, so forth.
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What Can You Do About Appetite Changes
Its important to recognize changes in appetite so that you can get help when its needed. Talk to your medical team about how much youve been eating and whether you need to do something about it. For example:
- Some causes of poor appetite can be managed with medical treatment. There are medicines that can help stimulate your appetite, decrease nausea, and help food move through your stomach more quickly.
- A nutritionist might be able to offer tips on how to get the most out of each bite you take.
- Supplemental drinks or shakes can sometimes help you get needed nutrition more easily.
- You might find that youre able to eat more when others are at the table.
- You might find it easier to eat small frequent meals or snacks during the day instead of trying to eat full meals 3 times a day.
These measures may work for some, but they wont help most people who are very close to the end of life. At later stages, these efforts can even make the person feel worse.
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Bone Pain In Prostate Cancer
Many advanced prostate cancer patients often suffer from bone pain that adversely affect quality of life. The management of pain or other cancer related functional impairment is integral part of palliative care. Palliative management can include analgesics, glucocorticoids, palliative chemotherapy, radioisotopes or radiotherapy.
Radioisotopes that selectively concentrate in bone lesions are approved for the palliative treatment of painful bone metastases. The treatment is of more value in patients with multiple metastases . The radioisotopes have been found to reduce the need for opioid painkillers in such patients.
EBRT is effective in painful bone lesions in advanced prostate cancer patients but not an ideal option if there are multiple lesions at different sites. The lesions in multiple sites will progress after EBRT in one site and pain will reappear in a short time afterwards, unless other systemic therapies are initiated to control the disease process. Read more on EBRT under prostate cancer treatments.
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An Evolving Standard Of Care
Hormone-sensitive prostate cancer means a patients tumors are still largely being fueled by male sex hormones called androgens. For many years, metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer was treated with ADT alone, which blocks the production of androgens by the testicles.
In 2014, a large clinical trial showed that adding the chemotherapy drug docetaxel to ADT improved survival in men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Since then, this combination has become the standard of care for this group of patients.
More recently, studies have shown that adding other drugs that block the production or binding of androgensincluding abiraterone , enzalutamide , and apalutamide to ADT also helps people with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer live longer. In a trial combining apalutamide with ADT, for example, approximately 82% of men were still alive after 2 years compared with 74% of men treated with ADT alone.
Several clinical trials were then launched to see if combining any of these drugs with ADT and docetaxel could build on those survival gains. Results of those studies, however, have been mixed, with one showing an improvement in survival without the disease progressing and another finding no increase in overall survival.
Is Stage 4 Cancer Always Terminal
More severe cancers are more likely to be terminal. However, that is never a certainty. For example, the American Cancer Society say the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer that spreads to distant body parts is 27%, or 86% when it only spreads locally.
Determining the severity of cancer and its stage is a complex process. Doctors are still learning about all the factors that affect how cancer develops and affects the body.
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The Essential Health Blog
Dennis is an 85 year old Stage 4 Prostate Cancer survivor. Nine years ago, Dennis doctor only gave him 2 1/2 months to live. Several months later, Dennis shocked his doctor when he returned cancer-free. Learn about Dennis amazing story in his own words.
Survival Of Prostate Cancer
Survival depends on many factors. No one can tell you exactly how long you will live.
Below are general statistics based on large groups of people. Remember, they cant tell you what will happen in your individual case.
Survival for prostate cancer is generally good, particularly if you are diagnosed early.
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More Options Lead To More Questions
Elisabeth Heath, M.D., director of prostate cancer research at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, agreed that the ARASENS results should have an immediate impact on how this form of the disease is treated.
Speaking at the ASCO symposium, Dr. Heath, who was not involved in the study, highlighted an important difference between ARASENS and other trials that tested androgen receptorblocking drugs in men with this form of prostate cancer. In those other trials, she explained, some participants received docetaxel prior to treatment with the androgen receptorblocking drugs rather than at the same time.
Based on the ARASENS results, Dr. Heath said, giving all three treatments simultaneously looks to be the preferred option for some patients.
Dr. Karzai noted that despite there being multiple options to treat metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, many questions remain. We don’t have guidelines on who should start with what drug and whether one drug is better than another for a patient, she said.
She also pointed out that more research is needed on how the order in which the drugs are given impact their effectiveness and the frequency of side effects.
Additionally, she said, the survival improvement in the ARASENS trial was seen in patients whose cancer had spread in multiple areas beyond the prostate .
We dont know if people with lower-volume benefit from as much as the patients with higher-volume disease do, she said.