Here are some important facts on prostate cancer prognosis and survival rates to give you peace of mind.
Being told that you have prostate cancer is scary. Here are a few facts on what is prostate cancer and what you should be aware of.
Everyone’s prognosis is different, and different factors determine your chances of survival. The normal protocol when it comes to understanding prostate cancer and survival rates is based on something called a 5-year survival rate. This is the percentage of people who live at least that long of time after diagnosis. This doesn’t mean you simply have five years, it means that the numbers were based on that percentage of people. There are things that help determine your longevity, such as the prostate cancer stage you may be in or have passed. There is a difference between those with prostate cancer metastasis, which is the development of malignant growths that are secondary to the main site of the cancer.
You should be happy to know that the survival rates for prostate cancer are incredibly positive. In fact, the 5-year survival rate discussed earlier is a resounding almost 100%, but that’s just one positive note. Even a 15-year survival rate is still almost at 95%. Now, these are also broken down by stages. For instance, the first stage is what is called the local stage. What this means is that the cancer has not spread at all and this is typically when the prostate cancer is found early, and this survival rate is almost 100%. The second stage is called a regional stage. This is when the cancer has spread some to areas that are nearby. Even then, the survival rate is around 100% as well. The next stage is the distant stage, and this is when the prostate cancer has spread or is called prostate cancer metastasis. In this case, the survival rate is around 28%, which is why early detection is imperative through a prostate cancer test. These prostate cancer stages are guidelines only, but they do give you an idea of the average survival rates for this disease. And thinking about prostate cancer prognosis and survival rates is clearly important.
While you can’t predict whether you will get prostate cancer and only a prostate cancer test can tell you for sure, there are certain risk factors to be aware of. These include things such as your age, your ethnicity or race, your geography, family history and gene changes. Some of the lesser risks include your diet, being overweight, chemical exposures and inflammation of the prostate. Some studies suggest that perhaps having a vasectomy may be a risk factor, although this is not a unanimous conclusion among doctors. While these risk factors are simply that, they are something you should know about and can affect your prostate cancer prognosis and survival rates.
There is a variety of ways that prostate cancer is treated, and it depends on a few factors, like your doctor, your cancer, and what both of you feel is best for your personal health. These treatments include watching the cancer to see if it grows larger or spreads, surgery, radiation therapy, vaccine treatment, cryotherapy (also known as cryosurgery), chemotherapy, hormone therapy and bone-directed treatment. Most of these are tried as a sole treatment method, but there are cases where a couple may be combined. Sometimes, the treatment entirely depends upon the stage of prostate cancer that you have and your PSA levels before and after treatment. The doctor who treats your prostate cancer varies, depending on what type of treatment is needed. For instance, urologists are the surgeons who treat prostate cancer but you may also see a radiation oncologist who uses radiation therapy or a medical oncologist who uses a variety of treatments, including hormone therapy or chemotherapy.
If you have had your treatment, there are a few things you should know about prostate cancer prognosis and survival rates. These are things that are necessary to stay on top of your cancer and to stay healthier overall. For example, find out your follow-up schedule. This is important since your doctor will want to see you at certain times to check on treatment side effects, see how you are doing and check if the cancer is staying away. You can talk to your doctor about what is called a survivorship care plan, which is something that gives you more insight on when to come back, a list of side effects, suggestions on your activity level and diet, and future tests you may need. The other treatment and care you need to consider looking into is taking care of your diet, not smoking, exercising on a regular basis and eating the right foods with plenty of nutrients and vitamins. The important thing to remember is that being diagnosed with prostate cancer is not a death sentence, especially if it is caught early on in the prostate cancer stages. With an almost 100% survival rate for those who are in the early stages, this is something that you can recover from. Early detection is key and gives you the best chance of overcoming the condition and living a long and healthy life.
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