September 16th, 2014
According to the latest statistics reported by the American Cancer Society, it has been estimated that in the year 2014, more than 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed within the United States alone (1). The report also suggested that prostate cancer will remain the 2nd most frequently reported cause of morality among the male American population with more than 29,480 deaths (or 1 in every 36 cases) due to advanced prostate malignancy.
The incidence rate of prostate cancer is also very high in the general population; for example, about 1 in 7 males can develop prostate cancer over the course of their lifetime (1). It is imperative to mention that prostate cancer is more frequently reported in males over the age of 60 years (and is rare in males under 40 years of age). The mean age is 66 years.
Prostate cancer is caused by the malignant transformation of prostatic cells that may produce classic symptoms like:
In advanced cases of prostate cancer, individuals may experience incontinence of urine with or without erectile dysfunction. Besides advanced age, other risk factors that may increase the risk of prostate malignancy are:
Research and analysis suggests that the cancer survival rate is dependent on the several factors such as age of the patient, stage at the time of diagnosis and interventions adopted to manage the cancer. Fortunately, prostate cancers is usually a slow growing tumor with a fairly non-aggressive course. It is estimated that over 2.5 million prostate cancer patients have survived with medical intervention in the past 5 years.
Wide variety of treatment methods are available ranging from conservative (hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy) to surgical methods like:
Cancer survival rate is estimated by calculating the percentage of people who lived for a minimum period of five years after the primary diagnosis (2).
For the sake of ease and explanation, National Cancer Institute (NCI) has devised a criteria to classify the prostate cancer by dividing into three stages based on the histological and morphological characteristics:
The “local stage or stage 1” usually does not spread outside of the prostate, and about 80 percent of the prostate cancers cases are usually detected in this stage.
During “regional stage” also known as advanced stage, the cancer starts spreading out of the prostate to surrounding tissues such as capsule and nearby tissues.
The “distant stage” is the most advanced stage that is associated with a bad prognosis. In this stage, cancer cells may spread to the distant lymph nodes and bones. Under the distant stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is only 28%. There are only 5% chances to be detected with distant (hormonal) stage of prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis (2).
Overall, prostate cancer has favorable survival rates; yet it is very important to keep up with periodic physical examination to detect the early sign and symptoms of prostate cancer.
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