Advanced Stage IV Prostate Cancer Prognosis

July 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

The medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of prostate cancer depends on quite a number of factors. This therapeutic prediction is what a lot of patients are most interested in, but something that most doctors aren’t exactly too eager to disclose because it does involve some speculation, at which point they could be wrong. Doctors are wary of giving a patient any false hopes about prostate cancer treatments, and they are also concerned about informing a patient that he could die in five years, only to have him live hale and hearty for another twenty.

Nonetheless, the factors that affect advanced stage IV prostate cancer prognosis are:

· Staging: determining the stage or level to which the disease has progressed already; if it is still confined to the prostate gland or if it has spread via the lymphatic system to the bones and other parts of the body. For the advanced stage IV, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

· Aggression: establishing if the disease is the normal mild, slow-growing type, or if it is the extremely anomalous and aggressive prostate carcinoma that metastasizes rapidly and is very resistant to treatment.

· Risk factors: the risk factors of prostate cancer are mainly age, diet, lifestyle, genetics, race, and medications. There are a few others that the doctor may want to take into consideration depending on what they can of the patient, but the most important thing is knowing how many of the high risk factors apply to the patient. The older the patient, the less the chance of the disease recurring before death; the more carefree his diet, the higher his risk of relapse; more first-hand relatives diagnosed with the disease implies that he has a higher chance of coming back to the hospital for the same complaints; and an unhealthy lifestyle, full of smoking and drinking, and devoid of exercise and stress management will do him in that much the quicker.

· Expertise: a very good doctor with a lot of experience in treating prostate cancer, and with ties to research facilities for prostate cancer that keeps them informed will certainly perform somewhat better than a rookie, wouldn’t you say?

· The patient’s disposition is also important because it determines how well the patient will respond to treatment, and if the disease is likely to relapse or not.

The five year survival rate for early stage prostate cancer in the United States is close to perfect, and the ten-year prognosis is nearly intact. However, beyond ten years, few doctors are willing to lay their reputation on the line by giving a definitive statement; likewise the prognosis when prostate cancer metastasizes to bone and becomes advanced stage IV is not particularly pleasant. Often at this point, the carcinoma is considered to be late stage and metastatic, which implies that few treatments will even cure the syndrome. Do not be surprised if palliative care is recommended.

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