Life Expectancy with Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Life Expectancy with Prostate Cancer Diagnosis


Hi, I’m Dr. Scholz. A common question we get at the PCRI is “What
is my life expectancy? I’ve just been diagnosed with prostate cancer.” This is usually a good news type answer for
men with prostate cancer because people may not be aware how different prostate cancer
is from other types of cancer: Pancreas cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer. Survival rates
with prostate cancer are excellent. Just to give you a rough idea, the American Cancer
Society on their website for prostate cancer states that of all the men diagnosed every
year five-year survival with prostate cancer is 99%; ten-year survival with prostate cancer
is 98%; 15-year survival with prostate cancer is 94%. Now, those numbers are going to be better
going forward. You can’t have 15-year outcomes without going 15 years into the past, and
so those are statistics for men that were diagnosed you know around 2000 or 2005. Men
that are diagnosed in 2019 are going to have even better outcomes because technology today
is superior to what we had then, and of course men that are going to live another 5, 10,
15 years are going to grandfather into even better technology. There are men however that pass away from
prostate cancer. “What is all that about?” It’s basically two issues. One is some men
don’t get screened and they’re diagnosed with very advanced disease at the get-go.
And then there are certain rare subtypes of prostate cancer that behave much more aggressively,
and those are the ones that we all hear about. The bad news stories. So men with prostate cancer need to be very
careful about defining what type of prostate cancer they have. Most of the prostate cancers
are very management, curable, and can be controlled for very long periods of time. So survival rates with prostate cancer are
surprisingly good and of course with modern medicine, they’re getting even better. Men
who are facing a new diagnosis of prostate cancer—since survival is so excellent—need
to be considering how their treatment is going to impact their quality of life. They’re
going to live with these treatment decisions for many, many years. Many people rush into
therapy thinking that “fight the cancer aggressively, get cured, I don’t want to die.” And that
type of attitude is for people with other types of cancers. With prostate cancer, because
the prostate is located in such a sensitive area (very near the issues of urinary function
and sexual function) men need to be a little more circumspect, go a little more slowly,
and look at the whole broad spectrum because thankfully survival rates with prostate cancer,
in general, are really, really good.

5 thoughts on “Life Expectancy with Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

  1. Excellent point about new technologies emerging in the next 15-20 years. I receive Google Alerts concerning the latest news about "prostate cancer research" which is very informing. I suspect I know about the new advances well before most urologists do, and certainly mine. In my lay opinion the advances are beginning to snowball downhill as the technology improves. Following Moore's Law the advances will only happen faster as time goes on.

  2. Great information to find out if you have cancer they need to do a biopsy that means sticking needle in walnut size prostate if psa test is high which is sc inaccurate take a look a Richard Ablin on you tube scary

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