Prostate Cancer Deaths To Hit Highest Numbers In Two Decades
Cancer Facts and Figures
Im here today because my cancer was caught early. We need to educate more men about this disease, and why early testing is crucial to survival. The fact that Im still here today is proof.
- Family history of prostate cancer
- African American ancestry
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Weigh The Pros And Cons Of Screening
Fortunately, today the vast majority of all prostate cancers are found when they are still in their local stages, largely due to widespread screening efforts.
Because the primary screening method is a simple blood test, screening for prostate cancer may seem like a no-brainer, but its more complicated than that. Thats because evidence of whether the prostate specific antigen screening test saves lives is conflicting. Some research suggests that routine PSA testing identifies too many harmless, slow-growing cancers, leading to unnecessary prostate biopsies and treatment that can cause significant urinary and sexual side effects. Complicating the issue is research indicating that the screening test misses many aggressive cancers.
Conversely, other studies have shown a benefit of screening in reducing the risk of dying from prostate cancer.
Can You Die From Prostate Cancer
Although the prostate cancer survival rate has improved over the years, nearly 27,000 men still died from the disease in 2017, and the 2018 numbers were higher: more than 29,000, according to American Cancer Society estimates.
Prostate cancer remains the third-deadliest cancer among men . However, its important to keep fears about prostate cancer in perspective. Namely, it is one of the most survivable cancers. About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime during his lifetime, but only one in 39 will die from it, according to the ACS.
In short, you are far more likely to die with prostate cancer than from it. It can take 10 to 20 years for a prostate cancer, diagnosed when it is still small and contained in the gland, to grow serious enough to cause symptoms or threaten your life. Because the cancer often grows slowly and strikes mostly older men near the end of their natural life expectancy, many simply die from something else long before the cancer requires treatment.
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The Early Warning Signs
Late diagnosis can reduce chances of survival, limit treatment options or result in more invasive interventions.
So, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
The difficulty is most men with early prostate cancer dont have any signs or symptoms, according to Prostate Cancer UK.
One reason for this is the way the cancer grows – you usually only get early symptoms if the cancer grows near the urethra and presses against it, changing the way you urinate.
If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, this is more likely to be a sign of a very common non-cancerous problem called an enlarged prostate, or another health problem.
But its still a good idea to get it checked out.
Other signs to look out for include:
- difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
- a weak flow when you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder hasnt emptied properly
- dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
- a sudden need to urinate you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet
If prostate cancer breaks out of the prostate or spreads to other parts of the body, it can cause other symptoms, including:
- back pain, hip pain or pelvis pain
- problems getting or keeping an erection
- blood in the urine or semen
- unexplained weight loss
Social Determinants Of Health
Cancer disparities reflect the interplay among many factors, including social determinants of health, behavior, biology, and geneticsall of which can have profound effects on health, including cancer risk and outcomes.
Certain groups in the United States experience cancer disparities because they are more likely to encounter obstacles in getting health care.
For example, people with low incomes, low health literacy, long travel distances to screening sites, or who lack health insurance, transportation to a medical facility, or paid medical leave are less likely to have recommended cancer screening tests and to be treated according to guidelines than those who dont encounter these obstacles.
People who do not have reliable access to health care are also more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer that might have been treated more effectively if diagnosed earlier.
Some groups are disproportionately affected by cancer due to environmental conditions. People who live in communities that lack clean water or air may be exposed to cancer-causing substances.
The built environment can also influence behaviors that raise ones risk of cancer. For example, people who live in neighborhoods that lack affordable healthy foods or safe areas for exercise are more likely to have poor diets, be physically inactive, and obese, all of which are risk factors for cancer.
Examples Of Cancer Disparities
Although cancer incidence and mortality overall are declining in all population groups in the United States, certain groups continue to be at increased risk of developing or dying from particular cancers.
Statistics from NCIs Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program include information specific to racial and ethnic populations as well as populations defined by age, gender, and geography. Some key cancer incidence and mortality disparities in the United States include:
Where Does Prostate Cancer Usually Spread First
If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it almost always goes to the bones first. These areas of cancer spread can cause pain and weak bones that might break. Medicines that can help strengthen the bones and lower the chance of fracture are bisphosphonates and denosumab.
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Can Prostate Cancer Be Prevented
There are no clear prevention strategies for prostate cancer. There is some conflicting evidence that a healthy diet composed of low fat, high vegetables and fruits may help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Routine screening, with PSA blood test and physical exam, is important to detect prostate cancer at an early stage. A healthy diet and regular exercise are also critical in maintaining good health and preventing disease in general.
For More Information See Prostate Cancer On The Ncci Website
The National Cancer Control Indicators are a set of indicators across the continuum of cancer care, from Prevention and Screening through to Diagnosis, Treatment, Psychosocial care, Research and Outcomes. The NCCI website allows users to see visual representations of data on each indicator through interactive charts.
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Bottom Line On Prostate Cancer In Celebrities Or Anyone
Perhaps the most important thing anyone can do when it comes to the prostate is to educate yourself. Learn about prostate screening. Know your risk factors. And don’t ignore any symptoms which concern you, whether they may be related to your prostate or not. Symptoms are our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. Ask for answers and keep asking until you have them. Beyond becoming educated, finding cancer early and surviving often requires people to be their own advocates in their health. After all, nobody is more motivated than you are to keep your body healthy.
For those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, this advice to learn all you can about your disease and to be your own advocate in your cancer care continues. Studies have found that men who are actively involved in the decision making process regarding their prostate cancer experience much less regret about treatment choices made and have a better quality of life.
Risk Factors For Cancers
Tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and air pollution are risk factors for cancer .
Some chronic infections are risk factors for cancer this is a particular issue in low- and middle-income countries. Approximately 13% of cancers diagnosed in 2018 globally were attributed to carcinogenic infections, including Helicobacter pylori, human papillomavirus , hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and Epstein-Barr virus .
Hepatitis B and C viruses and some types of HPV increase the risk for liver and cervical cancer, respectively. Infection with HIV substantially increases the risk of cancers such as cervical cancer.
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Prostate Cancer In New Zealand Men
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Kiwi men. Every year nearly 4000 men are diagnosed and about 650 die from the disease the third highest cause of death after lung and bowel cancers.
Mori men have a slightly lower incidence of prostate cancer but have a higher death rate than other New Zealand men. The reasons for this may be a later diagnosis or treatment choices offered to them.
Overall, the number of men diagnosed in New Zealand is increasing, largely due to increased rates of testing and the death rate is slowly dropping, largely due to better outcomes from early diagnosis and improved treatments available.
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What Goes Wrong With The Prostate
As men get older, the prostate gland increases in size. Many men will develop a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia . BPH is not cancer. Men who have difficulty urinating may have drug therapy or an operation called a TURP to relieve the symptoms of BPH.
Prostate cancer can, in some advanced cases, cause urinary difficulties similar to those for BPH. So, some men with prostate cancer may be offered a TURP. This procedure involves cutting away part of the prostate in order to relieve symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. It is done under general or spinal anesthetic so you will not feel any pain, and most patients will need to stay in hospital for around one to three nights following the procedure. This operation does not cure prostate cancer.
Where Prostate Cancer Spreads
If left untreated, diagnosed prostate cancer can grow and possibly spread outside of the prostate to local tissues or distantly to other sites in the body. The first sites of spread are typically to the nearby tissues.
The cancer can spread down the blood vessels, lymphatic channels, or nerves that enter and exit the prostate, or cancer could erode directly through the capsule that surrounds the prostate.
The seminal vesicles are a site of particularly common early spread. More extensive local spread can occur with cancer invading the nearby bladder or rectum.
Further advancement of cancer can occur when cancer cells enter the blood vessels and lymphatic channels. Once cancer has entered into these vessels, prostate cancer cells can seed into virtually any other part of the body.
Prostate cancer is known to have a particular affinity for spreading or metastasizing to the bones especially the lower spine, pelvis, and femur. Other organs such as the liver, brain, or lungs can also be the sites of spread, but these are much rarer.
Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series
We are proud to announce a new podcast series geared toward helping give support, hope and guidance to prostate cancer caregivers. The goal of this Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series is to help others connect with a diverse group of people who have felt the impact of prostate cancer in their lives and empower them on their journey.
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Understanding The Underlying Causes
For cancer researchers in general, were always seeking out the origins. Where does it start, what cells does it start in, how is it co-opting the processes of normal cells to evade the immune system or invade areas where it shouldnt be? says UCLAs Dr. Garraway. Just like other cancers, the whole idea is to understand the biology of the prostate tumors better so you can find the Achilles heel of that tumor.
The challenge, Garraway tells Ars, is that for a long time, research into what causes prostate cancer growth was focused on the indolent versions of the disease that were curable. More surgeries removed slow-growing tumors, leaving researchers with more access to these tissue samples. Metastatic patients were less likely to undergo surgery because their cancers had spread to other parts of their body, so those samples were studied less often.
For those 10 percent or so who are destined to have this metastatic disease, at least half of them already had spreading of their cancer at diagnosis, she says. They werent surgical candidates, so we werent capturing their tissues. And its a challenge to get enough tissue from a metastatic lesion.
Most men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their senior years and only 1 out of 36 men die from it. Death from prostate cancer most often happens when cancer has spread to other organs in the body. This is known as the advanced stage of prostate cancer.
Are Older Men Undertreated
Schwartz and colleagues reviewed the treatment decisions and factors influencing them in a cohort of men with localized prostate cancer. Age, comorbidity, and Gleason score were found to be independent predictors of suboptimal treatment. It was concluded that most men older than 70 years with moderately or poorly differentiated tumors and no to mild comorbidity were given suboptimal treatment. Most of these men were undertreated, receiving watchful waiting therapy when potentially curative therapy could have been applied. With optimal treatment, clinical outcomes could have been improved.
Thompson and colleagues investigated otherwise healthy octogenarians diagnosed with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy. At the last follow-up visit, 10 patients had survived more than a decade after surgery, and 3 patients had died within 10 years of surgery. The remaining 6 patients were alive at less than 10 years of follow-up. Seventy-four percent of patients were continent. No patient had died of prostate cancer, and the 10-year, all-cause survival rate was similar to that observed in healthy patients 60 to 79 years old undergoing radical prostatectomy. These findings indicate that careful selection of patients even older than 80 years can achieve satisfactory oncologic and functional outcomes after surgery. It is important to note, however, that the rate of urinary incontinence after surgery exceeds that of younger counterparts.
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How Is Prostate Cancer Staged
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that develops in men and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men, behind lung cancer and just ahead of colorectal cancer. The prognosis for prostate cancer, as with any cancer, depends on how advanced the cancer has become, according to established stage designations.
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland present only in men, found in the pelvis below the bladder. The prostate gland wraps around the urethra and lies in front of the rectum. The prostate gland secretes part of the liquid portion of the semen, or seminal fluid, which carries sperm made by the testes. The fluid is essential to reproduction.
The term to stage a cancer means to describe the evident extent of the cancer in the body at the time that the cancer is first diagnosed.
- Clinical staging of prostate cancer is based on the pathology results, physical examination, PSA, and if appropriate, radiologic studies.
- The stage of a cancer helps doctors understand the extent of the cancer and plan cancer treatment.
- Knowing the overall results of the different treatments of similarly staged prostate cancers can help the doctor and patient make important decisions about choices of treatment to recommend or to accept.
Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
- Age: The number one risk factor for being diagnosed with prostate cancer is age. Although prostate cancer can occur in men as young as 40 years old, about 60% of all those diagnosed with prostate cancer are over the age of 65. Those fortunate to live into their 80s will find that four out of five men will have some kind of cancerous prostate condition. The difficulty lies in knowing whether these are aggressive tumors or tumors that will never pose a problem.
- Race: Certain racial and ethnic groups are at more risk than others. While African-American men have a higher death rate than any other racial or ethnic group, that rate has decreased from about 80% to a little over 40% in the past 20 years.
- Genetics: Research on the likelihood of prostate cancer to run in families is ongoing. It has been suggested that if your father or brother has had prostate cancer you are twice as likely to develop it in other studies, no link has been found. Prostate screening may, therefore, be more important for men with an apparent genetic predisposition.
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Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer
You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.
What Causes Cancer
Cancer arises from the transformation of normal cells into tumour cells in a multi-stage process that generally progresses from a pre-cancerous lesion to a malignant tumour. These changes are the result of the interaction between a person’s genetic factors and three categories of external agents, including:
- physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation
- chemical carcinogens, such as asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin , and arsenic and
- biological carcinogens, such as infections from certain viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
WHO, through its cancer research agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer , maintains a classification of cancer-causing agents.
The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age, most likely due to a build-up of risks for specific cancers that increase with age. The overall risk accumulation is combined with the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older.
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