Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

Prostate cancer survival rates indicate the chances a cancer patient has of surviving the disease for a specified length of time. The rates are by no means a definite indicator of what will happen to a patient; they can at best predict a patient's chances of what might happen to him, if a type of treatment plan is opted for, based on what has happened to other patients in similar circumstances. They serve as a guide to a patient and his family to know what they can expect if they choose a particular type of treatment or if they should consider one at all rather than just opt for pain relievers and sedation.

Prostate cancer generally affects men over the age of 50. Many men are affected by an overgrowth of the prostate tissue as they age. Many a time this overgrown tissue is benign, but sometimes the overgrowth is characterized by abnormal cancerous cells leading to prostate cancer. The disease can be present for years without the patient being aware of it. The most common symptoms it can cause once it begins to make its presence known are pain and difficulty while urinating and erectile dysfunction.

The overall prostate cancer survival rates are very high when compared to most cancers. Currently in the United States, only 3% of patients succumb to the disease. The overall 5 year survival rate for prostate cancer in the US is 100%, the 10 year survival rate is 92% and the 15 year survival rate is 70%. The high prostate cancer survival rates are primarily because nearly 91% of cases in the United States are detected while the cancer is still localized and contained within the prostate or in nearby areas.

Prognosis and treatment is based on a grading system, generally the Gleason system which allots grades from 1-10 based on how much the cells in the cancerous tissue resemble normal prostate tissue. A score of 2-4 is considered as low grade, 5-7 as intermediate grade and 8-10 as high grade. Higher the grade, the more quickly the cancer will spread.

Prostate cancer survival rates are among the lowest for men whose cancer has breached the prostatic capsule. On an average 46% of patients with metastatic prostate disease die within 22 months of diagnosis and scarcely 32% will reach the 5 year survival mark.

In general, prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer with a higher incidence in the developed countries. It is believed that this may because most men in the developing world succumb to other illnesses long before the prostate cancer has a chance to grow to the magnitude where it will cause mortality.

For more information on prostate cancer survival rates please visit: Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

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