Next to lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among males. Each year, the number of prostate cancer cases increases. Often, men who are diagnosed of late stage cancer become anxious about their chances for survival. With the number of factors involved in determining whether or not the cancer will progress, thorough evaluation is needed to come up with a relatively accurate prognosis. Hence, establishing an outlook for late stage prostate cancer is an often difficult and complicated task.
Prostate Cancer Progress
Patients tend to experience unintentional weight loss, chronic tiredness or pain with late stage prostate cancer. With the right treatment, patients can effectively slow down the progress of cancer and add 15 more years to their life expectancy. Usually, patients do not die because of the actual cancer. Suffering various complications is what often leads to death. With the development of more effective cancer treatment, the survival rate of prostate cancer has gone from 67 per cent to nearly 100 per cent.
Factors that Influences Prostate Cancer Prognosis
The three main factors that affect the outcome of prostate cancer include the diagnosed cancer stage, the patients' Gleason grade or score and the PSA level. Late stage cancer means the cancer has already grown through the covering of the prostate gland or has spread into another part of the body. The Gleason grade or score is based on how the cancer cell looks under a microscope. A grade of two to six means low grade cancer, a score of seven means intermediate cancer grade and the score of eight to 10 means that the cancer is likely to grow or spread more quickly. Lastly, the PSA level, which is based on a specific blood test, works similar to the Gleason grade. The higher the grade the patients get, the more likely they need active treatment.
Prognosis in Late Stage Disease
Patients with smaller and small growing tumours usually have the best prostate cancer prognosis. Even if recovered patients have been cancer-free for 10 to 15 years, their prognosis is influenced by their choice of treatment. Usually, a five-year prognosis is considered excellent for patients diagnosed with late stage prostate cancer. In locally advanced stages, when the cancer has spread to the nearby regions, patients can still expect years in their prognosis. Patients with metastasised cancer, the stage when the prostate cancer has spread to distant organs, average survival rate is one to three years.
Prognosis for Recurring Cancer
Cancer almost always returns after a successful treatment. Talk about back with a vengeance, recurring prostate cancer is a serious matter. Provided that the patients' symptoms are well managed and controlled, 10 years is the average prognosis for recurring cancer that has reached late stage.
Since new and more effective cancer treatments are continuously developed, the survival rate for prostate cancer improves. On the average, patients who are diagnosed of severe forms of prostate cancer have higher risk of dying, often within 10 years. If it happens that patients are given bad prognosis, it is not enough reason to give up treatment. They are plain numbers that gives you the picture of how the health condition will improve or progress. They are there to emphasise the importance of staying committed to treatment.