Stage 4 Prostate Cancer Treatments And Prognosis
Stage 4 prostate cancer is the most advanced stage of the disease. It means that cancer has spread beyond the prostate to distant areas of the body. Learn more about this stae, what treatments are available, and the prognosis.
Brianna Gilmartin / Verywell
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.
Pathological Stage: A Look At The Actual Cancer Cells And Their Distribution Within The Pelvic Area
This system assesses how pervasive the cancer cells are within and around the prostate. These stages begin at T2.
T2: The tumor is located in the prostate only.T3: The tumor has breached the prostate border on 1 or more sides.T3b: The tumor has begun to grow in the seminal vesicles.T4: The tumor has grown into other neighboring structures, like the bladder, the rectum, or the pelvic wall.
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Initial Treatment Of Prostate Cancer By Stage And Risk Group
The stage of your cancer is one of the most important factors in choosing the best way to treat it. Prostate cancer is staged based on the extent of the cancer and the PSA level and Gleason score when it is first diagnosed.
For prostate cancers that haven’t spread , doctors also use risk groups to help determine if more tests should be done and to help guide treatment options. Risk groups range from very-low-risk to very-high-risk, with cancers in the lower risk groups having a smaller chance of growing and spreading compared to those in higher risk groups.
Other factors, such as your age, overall health, life expectancy, and personal preferences are also taken into account when looking at treatment options. In fact, many doctors determine a mans possible treatment options based not just on the stage, but on the risk of cancer coming back after the initial treatment and on the mans life expectancy.
You might want to ask your doctor what factors he or she is considering when discussing your treatment options. Some doctors might recommend options that are different from those listed here.Taking part in a clinical trial of newer treatments is also an option for many men with prostate cancer.
Stage 4 Prostate Cancer And Treatments
A stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis means that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, usually to either the adrenal glands, bones, lungs, or liver.
Treatment for stage 4 prostate cancer can involve removing the prostate and providing hormone therapy. Hormone blocking therapy reduces the amount of testosterone in the body, in order to help slow the growth of the cancer or shrink it. This type of hormone therapy is sometimes used alongside testicle removal, on a case by case basis. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also occasionally used.
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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
What Happens If My Cancer Starts To Grow Again
Your first treatment may help keep your cancer under control. But over time, the cancer may change and it may start to grow again.
You will usually stay on your first type of hormone therapy, even if its not working so well. This is because it will still help to keep the amount of testosterone in your body low. But there are other treatments that you can have alongside your usual treatment, to help control the cancer and manage any symptoms. Other treatments include:
Which treatments are suitable for me?
Which treatments are suitable for you will depend on many things, including your general health, how your cancer responds to treatment, and which treatments youve already had. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your own situation, or speak to our Specialist Nurses.
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Is Metastatic Cancer Always Terminal
This cancer stage has high mortality risk. However, in most cases, stage 4 or metastatic cancer is not always terminal. It is all depending on the spread area and case. On the other hand, it is also the stage where more advanced and aggressive treatment is necessary to kill the cancer cell.
Terminal cancer refers to a cancer case that is impossible to cure. This case mostly will result in the death of the patient. Therefore, the treatment for terminal cancer is only to control the spread and ease the patients pain. The curing process is difficult to do. So, it is the period when doctors and patients families prepare for the worst.
Despite its obvious result, the medical world still sets the standard for the patients survival likelihood. And, to learn more about that matter, you can continue reading. We will start talking about our main topic here, the stage 4 cancer life expectancy.
Prostate Cancer Survival Rates Are Favorable Overall
Thinking about survival rates for prostate cancer takes a little mental stretching. Keep in mind that most men are around 70 when diagnosed with prostate cancer. Over, say, five years, many of these men will die from other medical problems unrelated to prostate cancer.
To determine the prostate cancer survival rate, these men are subtracted out of the calculations. Counting only the men who are left provides what’s called the relative survival rate for prostate cancer.
Taking that into consideration, the relative survival rates for most kinds of prostate cancer are actually pretty good. Remember, we’re not counting men with prostate cancer who die of other causes:
- 92% of all prostate cancers are found when they are in the early stage, called local or regional. Almost 100% of men who have local or regional prostate cancer will survive more than five years after diagnosis.
- Fewer men have more advanced prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis. Once prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate, survival rates fall. For men with distant spread of prostate cancer, about one-third will survive for five years after diagnosis.
Many men with prostate cancer actually will live much longer than five years after diagnosis. What about longer-term survival rates? According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, for men with local or regional prostate cancer:
- the relative 10-year survival rate is 98%
- the relative 15-year survival rate is 95%
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Advanced Prostate Cancer And Bone Metastases
Most all prostate cancer patients worry about metastases. Metastases used to signal that death was near. Most prostate cancer metastases take place in bones. New treatments such as Xofigo have helped thousands of men delay health while maintaining a pain free high quality of life. Bone metastases are tumors that have spread from the prostate to your bones. Usually bone metastases occur in the pelvis, spine, thighs and ribs. But, they can develop in any bone anywhere in your body. Bone metastases can become extremely painful. Which is why it is reasonable and very human to fear bone metastases. So, if you are feeling anything that you imagine to be bone pain, talk to your doctor right away.
Diagnosing Bone Metastases
Bone metastases symptoms are sometimes confused with arthritis. The symptoms such as pain seem to be the same. So, if you are already diagnosed with prostate cancer, you must talk to your doctor about anything at all that you imagine to be pain in your bones. X-rays can diagnose bone metastases best, but bone scans, CT scans, PET scans, MRIs and blood tests are also used for diagnosis.
Untreated bone metastases in a man with castrate resistant prostate cancer could cause fractures and other skeletal problems none of which are pleasant.
Early detection of bone metastases allows more effective treatment to delay bone pain and other complications.
Preventing and Treating Bone Metastases
The most common side effects of Radium 223 are:
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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Cancer Care Team / Pain Clinics
If youre looking for support during this time, working with your oncologist and cancer care team can be helpful. Many teams include a patient navigator who is assigned to guide you through the different stages of your diagnosis and connect you to helpful resources that can assist you.
Pain clinics, or palliative care, is another option. Your palliative care team is there to support you by treating and preventing the painful and uncomfortable side effects that can result from certain forms of cancer treatment.
Late Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Can somebody tell me what the last few weeks of the life of someone with prostate cancer is like?
My dad is suffering so much that every moment of my life I am wishing he dies. I can’t stand seeing so much pain and misery. A few months ago I thought he can’t get any worse but he is actually getting worse everyday. I can’t function, can’t do anything in my life just thinking when will this be over??
In my country there is no hospices and they won’t admit him into a hospital , so he’s going through all this at home. No opioids work and he’s constantly throwing up. He can’t sleep because of the pain. He needs help bathing and changing clothes because he’s too weak to do those things. The cancer is all over his bones but it seems like it hasn’t spread to any organs. Does it have to spread to viral organs to kill?
I really appreciate any help.
Sorry to read that your Dad is going through this without an adequate level of pain relief and know this must be very difficult for him and the family to deal with.
I see that you are not in the UK but sincerely hope that chatting here will give you a feeling that you are not alone during this very difficult time. Hope too that your Dad’s pain relief can be adjusted as ths would I think help to make things just that little easier to bear.
Sending virtual hugs. Jules54
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What Are Prostate Cancer Survival Rates By Stage
Staging evaluation is essential for the planning of treatment for prostate cancer.
- A basic staging evaluation includes the patient examination, blood tests, and the prostate biopsy including ultrasound images of the prostate.
- Further testing and calculations may be performed to best estimate a patientâs prognosis and help the doctor and patient decide upon treatment options.
Prognosis refers to the likelihood that the cancer can be cured by treatment, and what the patientâs life expectancy is likely to be as a consequence of having had a prostate cancer diagnosis.
If a cancer is cured, your life expectancy is what it would have been had you never been diagnosed with prostate cancer. If the cancer cannot be cured due to it recurring in distant locations as metastases, or recurs either locally or in an area no longer able to be treated in a curative manner, then estimates can be made of what is likely to be your survival based again on group statistics for people who have been in the same situation.
Nomograms are charts or computer-based tools that use complex math from analysis of many patientsâ treatment results.
The prognosis for prostate cancer varies widely, and depends on many factors, including the age and health of the patient, the stage of the tumor when it was diagnosed, the aggressiveness of the tumor, and the cancerâs responsiveness to treatment, among other factors.
Where Prostate Cancer Spreads In The Body Affects Survival Time
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE until 4 p.m. on Monday, March 7, 2016
DURHAM, N.C. — Patients with lymph-only metastasis have the longest overall survival, while those with liver involvement fare worst. Lung and bone metastasis fall in the middle.
Smaller studies had given doctors and patients indications that the site of metastasis in prostate cancer affects survival, but prevalence rates in organ sites were small, so it was difficult to provide good guidance, said Susan Halabi, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at Duke and lead author of the study published online March 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
With the large numbers we analyzed in our study, we were able to compare all of these different sites and provide information that could be helpful in conveying prognosis to patients, Halabi said. This information could also be used to help guide treatment approaches using either hormonal therapy or chemotherapy.
Halabi and colleagues from leading U.S. and international cancer research centers pulled data from nine large, phase III clinical trials to analyze outcomes of 8,736 men with metastatic prostate cancer. The patients had all undergone standard treatment with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel.
Site of metastases was categorized into four groups: lung, liver , lymph nodes only, bone with or without lymph nodes and no other organ metastases.
Halabi said more research is needed to understand how and why prostate cancer spreads to different organs.
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How Long Can Someone Live With Stage 4 Cancer
Doctors usually describe a persons outlook using the 5-year survival rate. These are calculated based on data from thousands of other people with a similar cancer at a similar stage.
The original location of the cancer determines its type. Survival rates vary, depending on the type of cancer and how far it has spread within the body.
Below, we describe the survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancer in stage 4:
How Will My Cancer Be Monitored
Your doctor will talk to you about how often you should have check-ups. At some hospitals, you may not have many appointments at the hospital itself. Instead, you may talk to your doctor or nurse over the telephone. You might hear this called self-management.
You will have regular PSA tests. This is often a useful way to check how well your treatment is working. Youll also have regular blood tests to see whether your cancer is affecting other parts of your body, such as your liver, kidneys or bones.
You might have more scans to see how your cancer is responding to treatment and whether your cancer is spreading.
Your doctor or nurse will also ask you how youre feeling and if you have any symptoms, such as pain or tiredness. This will help them understand how youre responding to treatment and how to manage any symptoms. Let them know if you have any side effects from your treatment. There are usually ways to manage these.
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What Is The Survival Rate Of Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
Doctors use the term stage to characterize the characteristics of the original tumor itself, such as its size and how far prostate cancer has spread when it is discovered, as they do with all malignancies.
Staging systems are difficult to understand. Most malignancies, including prostate cancer, are staged using three different elements of tumor growth and dissemination. The TNM system stands 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.
The TNM approach allows each mans prostate cancer to be characterized in depth and compared to the prostate cancers of other men. Doctors utilize this information to conduct research and make treatment decisions.
However, in terms of prostate cancer survival statistics, the staging method is straightforward. As previously stated, males with prostate cancer can be split into two groups in terms of survival rates:
- Men with prostate cancer that is localized to the prostate or just nearby.
- Prostate cancer has a high long-term survival percentage in these men. Almost all men will live for more than five years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and many will live for much longer.
- Men whose prostate cancer has spread to distant areas, like their bones.
Survival For All Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Generally for men with prostate cancer in England:
- more than 95 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 1 year or more
- more than 85 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 5 years or more
- almost 80 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 10 years or more
Survival of prostate cancer is also reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But it is difficult to compare survival between these countries because of differences in the way the information is collected.
Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019Office for National Statistics
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account the background mortality that they would have experienced if they had not had cancer.