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Stage 4 Prostate Cancer Life Expectancy



Stage 4 Prostate Cancer Life Expectancy
The five year survival rate for stage 1 prostate cancer is 100%, but stage 4 prostate cancer life expectancy is not very encouraging. Read on, to know about the life expectancy and the survival rates for advanced stages of prostate cancer....Staging of prostate cancer brings uniformity in the treatment and helps doctors to design proper course of the treatment. Staging, generally, is concerned with the spread of cancer while grading system helps describe the growth of the tumor. These days, more and more men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Various tests like PSA (prostate specific antigen) test, DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) test, ultrasound help diagnose prostate cancer. 4 ng/ml is considered as the normal PSA level in blood. Aging or other prostate problems do affect PSA levels but generally, higher PSA levels indicate higher risk of prostate cancer. Men with PSA above 20 ng/ml have 90% risk of cancer. Stage 4 prostate cancer life expectancy is not good, as it is normally not possible to cure cancer at this stage.

Staging of Prostate Cancer
Stage I Prostate Cancer : Cancer at this stage is normally not detectable in a sonography or in a DRE test as the tumor is very small. It is discovered suddenly during a surgery carried out for another purpose, or during the biopsy performed after detection of elevated blood PSA levels.
Stage II Prostate Cancer : As the tumor grows in size, it can be detected in a DRE test or sonogram, but the tumor is still confined to the prostate gland.
Stage III Prostate Cancer : The cancerous cells spread out from the original site and invade the seminal vesicles.
Stage IV Prostate Cancer : The cancer moves out of the seminal vesicles and invades the lymph nodes. The size and number of tumors increase and they spread into the nearby organs like the bladder and the rectum. In the stage four prostate cancer, even bones and other parts of the body like lungs, liver are likely to be invaded by cancerous cells.
Stage 4 Prostate Cancer Life Expectancy

Prostate cancer life expectancy not only depends on the stage of the cancer, but also upon the type of treatment chosen. Early detection of cancer increases the life expectancy significantly. The treatment options include prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate), radiotherapy (radiation treatment), watchful waiting (monitoring the cancer), hormone therapy and other types of treatments.

Retrospective studies show that 10-year survival rate for patients who opted for prostatectomy was 83%, for radiotherapy 75% and for watchful waiting 72%. But to undergo a prostatectomy, the cancer needs to be detected in the early stages. Once the cancer metastasizes, it is difficult to remove the cancer, or it is difficult to control the growth of the cancer. So, survival rate and life expectancy for stage 4 prostate cancer cannot be favorable.

Life expectancy for patients diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer is normally less than five years. In fact, doctors usually assure life only for three years initially, and then offer two more years if the patient is still alive by then. The life expectancy not only depends on the treatment, but also on the physical and mental health of the patient. Patients who are loved and cared by their family members can fight the disease courageously. Those with strong will power live longer. As the patient continues to live, doctors continue to add some extra time. Read more on stage 4 cancer survival rate. There are examples of patients who have lived for eight years, or even further. Some recent studies show that a prostatectomy, even in advanced stage of prostate cancer, can double or triple the life expectancy of a patient (it can be about 14 or 15 years). But more studies are required to prove this fact.

According to statistics, prostate cancer is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. and second leading cause of 'cancer death' in men. Being old, belonging to the African American race, and having a family history of prostate cancer increases your risk of having this cancer. Obesity increases the risk of metastases and death. In 1980, one in 11 men used to have prostate cancer while today, one in 6 men have prostate cancer.

Studies show that about 30% men with metastasized prostate cancer live for more than five years. 5 year relative survival rate for stage one prostate cancer is 100% while for advanced stages, it is around 31.7%. Statistics are more helpful to doctors and researchers than to common men. It can be concluded that the life expectancy of a patient diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer is often not very favorable, but each patient is unique and you cannot predict the life expectancy of an individual patient with the help of such statistics.