What Happens If You Don't Treat Prostate Cancer

Reviewed on 4/8/2021

If prostate cancer is left untreated, it may grow and possibly spread out of the prostate gland to the local tissues or distant sites such as liver and lungs.
If prostate cancer is left untreated, it may grow and possibly spread out of the prostate gland to the local tissues or distant sites such as liver and lungs.

If prostate cancer is left untreated, it may grow and possibly spread out of the prostate gland to the local tissues or distant sites such as liver and lungs. Unchecked prostate cancer may spread to:

ONLY if the cancer is in its initial stage, the physician might recommend active surveillance or watchful waiting. In this process, they will delay the treatment but will closely monitor you for any disease progression. In these cases, regular follow-ups and blood tests are extremely crucial.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is cancer that affects the prostate glands present in men. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths for men in the United States.

The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that lies below the bladder and in front of the rectum. In men, the size of the prostate increases with increasing age. Its primary function is to make fluid to nourish and lubricate the semen

Growth in the prostate can be of two types:

How quickly does prostate cancer spread?

Prostate cancer usually spreads very slowly. It generally takes up to 15 years for cancer to spread from the prostate to other parts of the body. But it is deadly if it goes undetected; hence, regular follow-up after the age of 60 is a must.

How is prostate cancer treated?

The treatment plan for prostate cancer depends on the following factors:

  • The stage and grade of cancer
  • Age and health
  • Risk category
  • Patient values and preferences
  • Life expectancy

Treatment choices for prostate cancer involve:

  • Surveillance: If the prostate cancer is nonaggressive, the physician might recommend surveillance, which means that your physician will delay treatment but conduct regular check-ups or symptom monitoring to detect any progression.
    • Active surveillance: Monitoring cancer closely by carrying out the prostate-specific examination
    • Watchful waiting: Relying mainly on the changing symptoms in men
  • Localized therapy: The physician might recommend these therapies when the cancer cells have not spread outside the prostate gland.
    • Surgery involves prostatectomy (the removal of the prostate gland).
    • Radiation therapy treats cancer by using high-energy waves to kill tumor cells.
    • Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold temperatures to freeze and kill the cancerous cell.
    • Focal therapy is noninvasive therapy for destroying small tumors inside the prostate while leaving the remaining gland intact and sparing most of its normal tissue.
  • Drug therapies: Drug therapies that spread throughout the body to destroy cancer cells involve:

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What is the life expectancy of a man with prostate cancer?

The life expectancy of a man with prostate cancer is favorable. Most of the aged men detected of prostate cancer die of other comorbidities. The life expectancy is as follows:

  • Almost 100% of men who have early-stage prostate cancer will survive more than 5 years after diagnosis.
  • Men with advanced prostate cancer or whose cancer has spread to other regions have lesser survival rates. About one-third will survive for 5 years after diagnosis.

The longer-term survival rates (more than 5 years) for early-stage prostate cancer include:

  • The relative 10-year survival rate is 98%.
  • The relative 15-year survival rate is 96%.

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References
https://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-survival-rates-what-they-mean

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/what-is-prostate-cancer.html

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