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Prostate Cancer (cont.)

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What is the prognosis for prostate cancer?

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 patient's 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 patient's 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, or recurs either locally (where it started) or elsewhere in the body, 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 tools that use complex math from analysis of many patients' treatment results. They help to estimate the likelihood of a patient surviving free of recurrence after a treatment. They also can determine the likelihood of a cancer being found confined to the prostate, or spread beyond the prostate, or into the nearby lymph glands. Your doctor will likely input the data from your staging evaluation into a nomogram in order to best counsel you regarding your treatment options.

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 cancer's responsiveness to treatment, among other factors.

What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?

Treatment options for prostate cancer are many, and while this is an advantage in that prostate cancer is such a common disease in men, it can also be a cause of great confusion. The following overview presents some information about these options, but it is not a complete explanation of any of these. You can find more information on treatment options in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guideline for Patients on Prostate Cancer for 2014 and the Physician Data Query (PDQ) website of the National Cancer Institute.

Conventional medical treatment options for prostate cancer include:

  • Watchful waiting
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy and other targeted therapies
  • Bisphosphonates and denosumab
  • Radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive substances used as drugs)
  • Research techniques including high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and others
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/4/2014

Patient Comments

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Prostate Cancer - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of prostate cancer can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Prostate Cancer - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your prostate cancer?
Prostate Cancer - Evaluation and Diagnosis Question: How was your prostate cancer diagnosed?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/prostate_cancer/article.htm

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