A person hears the prognosis, the urological doctor’s conclusion after many exams and tests, that he has advanced prostate cancer. What does that mean? Can it be treated? What kind of life may one expect from that point onward? There are many questions that can be asked of the doctors, but a patient must remember that many questions depend on current medical techniques, the combined experience of all the doctors involved, and how well their clinics are equipped. Advanced prostate cancer is any cancer that has spread, or metastasized, to other tissues or bones around the prostate gland, so no single cure can exist for it. The cancer can no longer be treated by focusing on the prostate gland alone, so it is no longer “curable” in the simple sense. The most important questions are how well the cancer can be controlled or how long it can be kept in remission.

Dr. Michael Grable of Deland, FLThere are many factors that determine how much longer an advanced prostate cancer patient can survive. Age, along with other associated health issues, is more often of greater significance than the prostate cancer. Most men with prostate cancer will die from old age or other illnesses rather than from the cancer itself.

Advanced prostate cancer may be treated by androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which lowers testosterone levels, slowing cancer growth. Hormonal therapies may be recommended. Chemotherapy might be used if hormonal therapy does not work. Surgery in some situations may help to remove larger clumps of cancer. Other therapies could utilize vaccines, immunotherapy, radiopharmaceuticals, bisphosphonates and radiation therapy. Sometimes a patient may be recommended to take part in a clinical trial of a new and promising treatment. The drawbacks of all such treatments are their side effects, which a patient may or may not be willing to accept.

Essentially, the factors that determine a patient’s longevity after diagnosis are:

  • the age of the patient
  • the condition of a person’s overall health
  • what stage the cancer is in
  • what the physical symptoms are
  • where the cancer may have spread
  • if the cancer has infected any bones
  • a patient’s outlook on life
  • a patient’s social life

Each person is different, which makes the determination of how much longer a person may live more like an educated guess rather than a precise mathematical equation. In other words, no doctor can ever state with complete certainty how long a person with any advanced cancer could live. Each person also responds differently to the same types of treatments. Other issues that cannot be overlooked, but also differ from person to person, are their mental outlook on life and social support; doctors cannot prescribe friendships or worldviews, though they can suggest support groups that help people with similar problems learn to cope with their situations.

When a patient is diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, what medical care is available becomes very important. In a large specialist clinical network, its many doctors regularly share new knowledge and interesting experiences with each other, so a patient is always assured of receiving the best care possible. Thanks to modern advanced medical treatments, such as available through the Advanced Urology Institute, a patient’s hope for longevity after a diagnosis is now considerably better. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

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