Life Expectancy for Advanced Prostate Cancer Patients

Even the pros don’t have a lot to offer by way of life expectancy for patients who have been diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer. Although there are patients who have survived as long as seven to eight years with very good palliative care, on oncologist or urologist not likely to hand down a life expectancy longer than three years once they have determined that the cancer is no longer curable.

Prostate cancer confined to the prostate gland can be treated and cured by a variety of interventions such as prostatectomy, radiotherapy, cryosurgery, proton therapy, and high intensity focused ultrasound; some of them may even yield incredible ten year biochemical disease free rates, which is a lot for a patient well into his seventies at least. However, they all fall into what might be considered limited use when the cancer has spilled into the bloodstream and beyond the prostate.

Metastatic prostate cancer hits the pelvis first, and the lymph nodes; but it hits the bones the hardest, and even if the patient were to continue living with these symptoms, he could be incapacitated by bone pain and possibly even fractures. To that end, palliative care is offered in order to make the life of the patient a lot more comfortable, while the progression rate of the disease is slowed as much as is possible, and the symptoms accompanying it delayed.

If a patient with advanced stage prostate cancer lives through the first two years, he is offered another three, give or take couple of months; if he beats the five year rap; they’ll give him three more; and if he still lives after then, they are obliged to further extend life expectancy for the patient. For someone like this, something has to be keeping him alive, and that thing may remain with him until something else may have to be responsible for his demise on the long run.

Interestingly, a recent study has suggested that carrying out a prostatectomy on such a patient may further extend life expectancy to about two or three times the five year figure. Exciting observation, but one that doctors are not too excited about. Besides the fact that it poses certain other risks to the patient, it also implies greater time, effort, and expense to keep the patient going, without the added guarantee of an improved quality of life. The researchers have gone back to work, looking to conclude their findings and give prostate cancer patients the chance to die of other diseases.

Pending that, advanced prostate malignant tumor life expectancy remains at a likely three to five years, depending on the state of health of the patient, the degree of progression of the disease, and the available treatments that can be administered.

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