Understanding Metastatic Prostate Cancer and Its Survival Rate

Prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer with almost 100% survival rate. However, in most cases, metastatic prostate cancer survival rate doesn’t even reach 30%. This is why prostate cancer must be diagnosed early to prevent the cancer cells from metastasizing to other areas.

Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Compared to the other cancer types, prostate cancer has one of the best five-year survival rates. However, once it spreads to the other organs, metastatic prostate cancer survival rate becomes very low the cancer starts becoming life threatening. Prostate cancer can spread to different glands and organs in the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, bones and liver.

Metastatic prostate cancer survival rate varies according to where the cancer spreads. In Stage 3 prostate cancer where the cancer cells affect the surrounding lymph nodes, most patients can survive up to 32 months. However, once the cancer reaches Stage 4 and spread to the other organs, the survival rate will get even worse. The survival rate for bones and lungs metastases is usually 19 to 21 months. And when the cancerous prostate tissues go to the liver, the average survival rate is less than 14 months.

Once a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, he needs to start paying attention to symptoms of metastases. This is because 50% of prostate cancer patients suffer from metastatic cancer at some point of their life. The symptoms will differ according to where the cancer spreads. When the metastasis is located at the bones, the symptoms will include pain and discomfort on the hips, ribs or spine. Meanwhile, liver metastases are usually marked by jaundice.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When a man has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the doctor usually recommends additional tests to find out whether or not there are signs of metastases. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan are one of the most common methods to diagnose metastatic prostate cancer. However, additional symptoms might be added to check for signs of metastases in specific area.

If the patients complain about pain and discomfort in the bone area, the doctor will recommend isotope bone scan. But if the metastases are suspected to present in the liver, the patients might want to undergo liver function test and also some standard blood tests. Once the presence metastatic prostate cancer is confirmed, treatments must be immediately started. Besides the common cancer treatment like radiation, surgery or chemotherapy, additional treatments are also needed to address the problems in the metastases area.

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