When is prostate cancer is curable in Kingston, New York?

If you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you are not alone! About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.  And these are just the men who are diagnosed.  Many cases of prostate cancer are first discovered after death--hence, the actual number of men with prostate cancer may be more than 1 in 6.

The good news is that 9 out of 10 men with prostate cancer have localized cancer that is still confined to the prostate gland.  Almost none of these men will die from their prostate cancer within 5 years from the diagnosis.  Only 1 in 35 men actually die from prostate cancer and only 5% have more advanced prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Now for the not so good news.  Once prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate, survival rates fall.  For men with distant spread of prostate cancer (metastatic prostate cancer), about one-third will survive for five years after diagnosis.

Prostate cancer is "advanced" when it spreads outside the prostate gland.  As with all cancers, doctors use the term "stage" to describe how far prostate cancer as spread.

Stage IV prostate cancer refers to cancer that has spread to distant locations in the body, which usually includes the bones.  Stage IV prostate cancer is classified into two groups depending on the extent of the cancer (tumor). In category "D1", the tumor has spread to pelvic lymph nodes or is obstructing the ureters (tubes from the kidneys to the bladder).  In "D2", cancer has spread (metastasis) to lymph nodes outside the pelvic area, bone involvement, or spread to other distant parts of the body.

No cure exists for advanced prostate cancer (Stage IV prostate cancer).  Some treatments slow the growth of the cancer and others reduce symptoms caused by the disease. Most doctors use hormone therapy to control the spread of advanced prostate cancer. Hormone therapy removes the male hormones necessary for prostate cancer to grow. The frequent side effects of hormone therapy include reduced sex drive, impotence, infertility and osteoporosis.

If your prostate cancer has invaded local organs, such as the rectum or bladder, or spread to lymph nodes in the pelvis, surgery is not likely to be helpful.   Standard treatment for Stage IV prostate cancer involves a combination of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and hormone therapy. Metastatic prostate cancer usually can be controlled with hormone therapy for a period of time, often several years.  Eventually, however, most prostate cancers are able to grow despite hormone therapy.

The key to beating prostate cancer?  Annual PSA blood tests and rectal examinations for men 50 years of age and older and if you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should begin the screening for prostate cancer at age 40.  The key to stopping prostate cancer is early detection of the cancer when it is still confined to the prostate gland.

What you can do if you have questions

Do you want more information about prostate cancer?  You can join my e-mail list at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com or you can call me on my toll-free cell at 866-889-6882.  I welcome your phone call at any time (well, almost anytime).