Prostate cancer prognosis may vary with respect to the stage at which the disease was detected, how aggressive the cancer is perceived to be, the kind of treatment that are administered to help the patient, the patient’s state of general health at the time of treatment.
Apart from that, it also includes the state of mind of the patient – sure, most people may not want to acknowledge it, but how a man feels about himself and the disease he has to deal with does play a role in determining whether he might survive it or not (treatment or not).
According to the American Cancer Society, due to improved and more widespread screening, a prostate cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence as it was a couple of decades ago. These days, most prostate cancers are caught early, so that treatment can be given to the patient and he can recover from the disease in good time. As a matter of fact, there is now a confidence close to a hundred percent that the cancer will NOT relapsed within the next five years.
As a matter of fact, the survival rate for early stage prostate cancer treated and cured effectively is still a comfortable 93% at ten years after treatment. At 15 years, prognosis typically depicts a 77% chance of survival, which is still fair.
Based on this, it is reasonable to expect about 50% of such patients to still be alive at twenty years – not bad for the treatment of a disease that actually has no definitive cure and was once considered to be a killer disease. The number of people who die from the disease each year is however still too large for comfort.
There isn’t as much confidence in prostate cancer that was diagnosed late, which according to the ACS constitutes about 10% of all diagnosis. Because there is no curing the disease at this stage, they can only attempt to prolong his life with various treatments. The level of advancement of the tumor and the effectiveness of the treatment will go a great length in determining prognosis, but generally most physicians do not offer a patient with advanced stage prostate cancer more than three years initially.
A lot of patients under palliative care actually do make it past the three year mark, at which point life expectancy might be extended to five, and then to eight years. Few patients with advanced prostate cancer make it past eight years from the diagnosis, even with the best of treatment, although it does happen.
At that point, most oncologists would probably just give up about seeing the man die. There are talks in the medical community about a late stage prostatectomy further extending life expectancy to possibly even 14 years, but those have not been confirmed by research.