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.
Cancer Patients With Bone Metastasis
We included all adult residents of Denmark diagnosed with cancer in the Danish Cancer Registry from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2010, and with a diagnosis of bone metastasis registered in the Danish National Patient Registry on or after the date of primary cancer diagnosis until 31 December 2012. DNRP holds discharge diagnoses from all inpatient admissions to Danish hospitals since 1977 and hospital outpatient clinic diagnoses since 1995. For each visit, the DNPR includes information on admission and discharge, procedures and up to 20 diagnoses. Since 1994, the diagnostic information has been coded according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. All diagnostic codes are given in the online .
Survival By Disease Progression
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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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
- whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body
Survival Rates And Outlook
There is currently no cure for advanced prostate cancer, but advances in treatments are extending life expectancy and improving quality of life.
The ACS states that the 5-year relative survival rate for individuals with prostate cancer that has spread to distant lymph nodes, organs, or the bones is 31% . Therefore, people with this stage of prostate cancer are about 31% as likely as those without the condition to live for at least 5 years after diagnosis.
However, survival rates are only estimates, and everyone is different. The following factors are among those that can affect a personâs outlook:
- how cancer responds to treatment
- how far cancer has spread
Ongoing cancer research is also facilitating the development of more effective treatments and leading to improved survival rates.
Here are some answers to questions people often ask about prostate cancer moving to the bones.
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How Fast Does Prostate Cancer Spread To The Bones
Early detection can catch prostate cancer even before there are any symptoms. Some types of prostate cancer grow very slowly.
There are four main stages of prostate cancer. Within each stage, the cancer is graded based on factors like the size of tumor, prostate-specific antigen level, and other clinical signs.
If the cancer has spread to the bones, its considered to be the most advanced, or stage 4.
Newer lab tests look at the genes inside cancer cells. This can provide more information on how quickly the prostate cancer may progress.
Theres also a grading system known as the Gleason system, which assigns the cancer into a grade group based on how closely it resembles normal tissue.
During the biopsy to diagnose prostate cancer, the cells are closely examined. The more abnormal cells that are in the biopsy sample, the higher the Gleason score and grade group.
When more abnormal cells are present, the cancer is more likely to spread quickly.
How Is Bone Cancer Diagnosed
To diagnose bone cancer, your healthcare provider will often first use X-rays to view images of your bones. Magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans provide more detailed images of the areas around the bones and are usually obtained before any treatment.
To confirm the diagnosis, your healthcare provider will perform a biopsy, where a small piece of tissue is removed from the bone to be examined under a microscope. A biopsy provides specific information about the cancer, including where it formed. Having this information helps providers know which course of treatment will work best for the specific cancer.
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Castrate Refractory Prostate Cancer: A Wider Range Of Options
In this section, we explain the treatments available at Birmingham Prostate Clinic for patients once their disease becomes resistant to hormone treatment, called castrate refractory prostate cancer. Two types of treatments are needed to:
- Control the cancer and prevent further spread of cancer
- Control or prevent the symptoms caused by the spread of prostate cancer to the bones
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Stage IV Prostate Cancer Prognosis. Prostate cancers detected at the distant stage have an average five-year survival rate of 28 percent, which is much lower than local and regional cancers of the prostate. This average survival rate represents stage IV prostate cancers that have metastasized beyond nearby areas to lymph nodes, organs.
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Advanced And Metastatic Prostate Cancer What Is It
02 October 2020
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, with about 17,000 men newly diagnosed each year. For most men the long-term outlook is very good relative to the general population and considering other causes of death, 95% of men with prostate cancer will survive at least five years after diagnosis and 91% of men with prostate cancer will survive 10 years or more. Today there are around 220,000 Australian men alive after a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Of concern to our mission, for men who develop advanced prostate cancer, the outlook is not as good. Prostate cancer kills more than 3,000 men in Australia every year, representing about 12% of all male deaths from cancer. So, what is advanced prostate cancer, how is it detected and how is it treated?
What is the prostate?
What is prostate cancer?
Diagnosing advanced and metastatic prostate cancer
Further tests to determine where the cancer has spread to and the size of the cancers include:
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Stage Iv Prostate Cancer Prognosis
Prostate cancers detected at the distant stage have an average five-year survival rate of 28 percent, which is much lower than local and regional cancers of the prostate. This average survival rate represents stage IV prostate cancers that have metastasized beyond nearby areas to lymph nodes, organs or bones in other parts of the body.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor Or Nurse
- What type of hormone therapy are you offering me and why?
- Are there other treatments I can have?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of my treatment?
- What treatments and support are available to help manage side effects?
- Are there any lifestyle changes that might help me manage my cancer, symptoms, or side effects?
- How often will I have check-ups and what will this involve?
- How will we know if my cancer starts to grow again?
- What other treatments are available if that happens?
- Can I join any clinical trials?
- If I have any questions or get any new symptoms, who should I contact?
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.
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What Treatments Are Available
If you have advanced prostate cancer, treatment wont cure your cancer. But it can help keep it under control and manage any symptoms.
If youve just been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, you may be offered the following treatments:
Research has found that having radiotherapy together with one of the main treatments listed above can help some men with advanced prostate cancer to live longer. But radiotherapy isnt suitable for all men with advanced prostate cancer.
If you live in Scotland, you may also be offered a type of hormone therapy called abiraterone acetate together with standard hormone therapy. In the rest of the UK, abiraterone is currently only given to men with advanced prostate cancer that has stopped responding to other types of hormone therapy. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is currently deciding whether to make it available for men who have just been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
Before you start treatment
Before you start any treatment, make sure you have all the information you need. Its important to think about how you would cope with the possible side effects. Speak to your doctor or nurse about this.
It can help to write down any questions you want to ask at your next appointment. It may also help to take someone with you, such as your partner, a family member or friend.
If you have any questions, speak to our Specialist Nurses.
Survival By Disease Recurrence
If a man develops an elevated PSA level after cancer surgery, then the disease is viewed as recurrent.
The number of lymph nodes at the time of prostatectomy can influence the risk of recurrence. One study suggests the removal of a large number of nodes is associated with an improvement in odds of recurrence, but this doesn’t appear to impact overall survival.
But disease recurrence doesn’t always influence survival times. If a recurrence does occur, the 15-year survival rate at the time of diagnosis may be as high as 94% in those with low-risk recurrence.
The main factors influencing survival rates are:
- The Gleason score
- The PSA doubling time
- Whether the recurrence occurred within three years or after three years
A recurrence that occurs within three years reduces survival rates by anywhere from 15 to 20%and even more, if the doubling time is short.
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What Causes Bone Cancer
Experts are not certain what causes bone cancer, but they have found links between bone cancer and other factors. The most important factor is being exposed to radiation or drugs during treatment for other cancers. Some bone cancers occur due to conditions that are passed down in families , although this is not usually the case.
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The treatment of bonecancers is complex and requires specialist care. It will depend on: your age, fitness, general health and preferences. The aim of treatment for primary bonecancer is to control the cancer and maintain the use of the affected area of the body. Many people who are treated for bonecancer go into remission. Using survival as the measure for a successful prostate cancertreatment does not tell you whether the cancer is gone. Only PSA level can tell you that. If you fail the initial treatment, you can live with prostate cancer for many years. For example, one treatment can have a prostate cancer control rate of 80%, but because patients can live.
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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.
Bone Loss From Prostate Cancer Treatment
Testosterone, the male sex hormone, fuels the growth of prostate cancer but it also is crucial to bone health. Treatment of prostate cancer with hormone therapy, also called androgen deprivation therapy , blocks the production of testosterone which stops or slows the growth of the cancer. Without testosterone, bones can become weak and break more easily. When a man is on ADT, recovery from a bone fracture takes longer than for other men. It is especially important for men taking ADT to speak with their doctor about how to plan for and manage the bone loss before a problem arises. Bone strength can also be decreased as a result of radiation and chemotherapy used to treat prostate cancer.
Fortunately there are ways to strengthen and repair your bones including medicines and lifestyle changes.
- Bisphosphonates can prevent the thinning of the bone and help make them stronger
- Oral bisphosphonates include Fosamax and Actonel
- The intravenous bisphosphonate is Zometa
- Strive for a healthy diet and make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D
- When exercising, include weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises
- Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol
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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%
How Is Bone Cancer Treated
Bone cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, whether it has spread and if so, where. People with bone cancer often work with a team of healthcare providers to treat the condition. This group includes doctors who specialize in cancer and doctors who specialize in bones and joints .
Bone cancer treatment typically involves a combination of approaches. The type and duration of these treatments vary depending on several factors, including the type of bone cancer, the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. The treatments most commonly used include:
- Surgery: Your surgeon removes the tumor and some healthy tissue around it. They can also repair or rebuild affected bones with real or artificial bone grafts. Sometimes, an entire limb must be removed to treat cancer. In this case, an artificial limb can be used. Sometimes repeat surgery is needed if all of the cancer cells were not removed the first time around.
- Radiation therapy: This treatment shrinks the tumors with high doses of X-rays. Healthcare providers often use radiation before surgery to shrink the tumor so less tissue has to be removed.
- Chemotherapy: This type of treatment kills cancer cells throughout the body with medicine. People usually receive this medicine by swallowing a pill or having it injected into a vein. Your provider can use chemotherapy to treat primary bone cancers or bone cancers that have spread.
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