Life Expectancy With Prostate Cancer – Are You In Doubt?

The life expectancy for a man who has just recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer depends on quite a number of factors:

· The stage of the disease as at the time of diagnosis
· The perceived degree of aggression of the carcinoma
· The age of the patient as at the time of diagnosis
· The overall health status of the patient, physiologically and psychologically, and
· The available and/or viable treatments that may be used in the treatment of the condition.

Individually, all of these factors are serious enough to be used alone in the drawing up of a prognosis, but in this instance they have to be used together; otherwise the doctor cannot be certain of being accurate. Even then, doctors are generally reluctant specifically say that such and such is the life expectancy for a man diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer in such and such manner. Except that they know that most patients often want to know that first before even considering anything else.

Because early stage the condition is curable, and the chances of non relapse over a ten year period is about ninety three percent (with several patients making it even as far as fifteen years without a relapse of the cancer), one could argue that life is fair enough for such a person. Prostate kind of cancer often strikes in old age anyhow, and because it is a slow growing disease, several patients may die with the condition rather than because of it, without ever feeling the first of its symptoms. As such, the life expectancy may push well beyond fifteen to even twenty years.

Not so the case with late stage disease; advanced prostate malignant tumor patients, because the disease is not considered to be curable at that time, may have to settle for about six to seven years. During that time frame, treatment may be administered in order to slow the progression of the disease, slow PSA doubling times, stop the growth of the cancer, and possibly even delay the symptoms from ever appearing. But by and by, most oncologists believe it is a losing battle and one that does not have to be fought too hard. To that end, it is not uncommon to have them administer pain relief merely to ease the passage.

Recently, some research has surfaced to show that it is possible to double or even triple life expectancy for patients with advanced stage prostate cancer. This, the results argue, may be doable with the aid of prostatectomy and perhaps radiation treatment. Proponents are excitedly waiting for the final results to come in concerning that finding, but detractors maintain that there is no point to it if it does not improve quality of life for the patient.

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