Prostate cancer is usually considered a slow-growing disease. If diagnosed in its early stages, it can be curable and men can resume their normal activities. Nevertheless, never forget that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the US. 91 men are dying from prostate cancer every day. This means that prostate cancer can kill you if the disease is in advanced stages and surgery can not be an option.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the US, after skin cancer. For men aged 50-59, about 1 in 57 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
What are the survival rates for men diagnosed with prostate cancer?
It is essential to know that almost 90% of all prostate cancer cancers are confined to the prostate. The treatment for confined prostate cancer is usually successful, the disease not posing a threat to men’s lives. But what is prostate-confined cancer?
When prostate cancer is confined to the prostate, it is in its early stages. It is also called localized prostate cancer. This type of cancer has not spread outside the prostate gland to other parts of the body. Localized prostate cancer usually grows very slowly. It is not considered to be affecting a man’s life span.
The 5-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the US is almost 99%. However, these statistics must create awareness for men regarding the possibility of prostate cancer being a fatal disease. There are cases when even if the prostate cancer is localized, it is aggressive and immediate action needs to be done in order to provide a successful treatment. What does this mean to you in particular?
Prostate-Specific Antigen – A test you should consider right now
The survival rates of a man diagnosed with prostate cancer are strictly related to the stage of the disease at the moment of diagnosis. Are you a 45+ man? Have you considered having a PSA test? If yes, it means that you are conscious of the potential fatal character of the disease. If not, then reading this article may be a cornerstone for you. Every prostate cancer screening starts with a PSA test. The PSA test, an acronym for Prostate Specific Antigen, is a simple blood test. It evaluates the levels of antigen produced by the prostate gland. A PSA level above 4.0 ng/ml may indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
Other prostate cancer detection methods
The DRE exam may also complement the diagnosis process. In a digital rectal exam, the doctor places a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum to check for prostate abnormalities. The DRE test is performed in order to complement the PSA test and provides a more accurate diagnosis.
Following these procedures, a prostate biopsy is usually recommended if there are any signs of prostate problems. However, biopsies are usually very uncomfortable and, most often, results are negative. Therefore, other non-invasive prostate cancer detection methods are being used. The MRI scan is used in radiology to recreate images of the prostate gland and nearby tissues. MRI scans are used to check for cancerous cells in the prostate. MRI guided biopsies are more precise due to the fact that the doctor knows the exact location of the affected tissue. CT scans and PET scans are also other non-invasive methods of prostate cancer detection.
Prostate cancer risk-factors physicians take into account
When evaluating the risk of prostate cancer killing a patient, doctors take into account various risk factors. If you find yourself in any of these risk groups, it is strongly advisable to contact a urologist. Here are the main risk factors for developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer that can be fatal:
Prostate cancer is considered a genetic disease. Studies have shown that men who have close relatives suffering from prostate cancer have more chances to develop the disease. What is more, if the relatives are first-grade, the greater your chance to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact, if your father or brother has had the disease, this has doubled your chances to have prostate cancer.
Race and Ethnicity
African American men are more prone to prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from a low-grade diagnosis. The exact cause of these disparities is not yet known. It has been stated that the differences may be caused by the lack of socioeconomic possibilities to fight the disease. In more developed countries, men benefit from accessible diagnosis methods and many low-grade prostate cancers are being discovered.
Are you an African American man? Then consider going through a prostate screening as soon as possible. This will help you minimize the effects of being in a prostate cancer risk-group.
Prostate cancer incidence increases with age. Only 1 in 350 men under the age of 50 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, as the age increases, the prostate cancer risk increases as well. The incidence rate is almost 60% in men aged 65+. Having regular prostate check-ups can help diagnose the disease at an early stage when it is not fatal.
When pondering upon the information above, take into account that prostate cancer kills about 30.000 men/ year. Being in a risk group, or, more important, if you are in more than one risk group, should make you more aware of the impact of this disease.
When can prostate cancer kill you?
Prostate cancer can be a deadly disease when discovered at an advanced stage. Advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has already spread from the prostate to other distant parts of the body. It is also called metastatic prostate cancer. However, there are rare cases when prostate cancer is diagnosed at such a late stage. Usually, it develops to this stage after the first diagnosis. That is why choosing the best treatment for prostate cancer is crucial. Finally, it can make the difference between life and death. Read more about the most efficient prostate cancer treatment.