Factors affecting survival of patients with prostate cancer

prostate cancer
  • Extent of tumor

When the cancer is confined to the prostate gland, the long-term prognosis is excellent. Patients with locally advanced cancer are not usually curable, but 5-year survival is still very good. If prostate cancer has spread to distant organs, current therapy will not cure it.

  • The histologic grade of the tumor

Poorly differentiated tumors are more likely to have metastasized before diagnosis and are associated with a poorer prognosis.

  • Patient’s age and health

Any benefits of definitive local therapy with curative intent may take years to emerge. Therefore, therapy with curative intent is usually reserved for men with a sufficiently long life expectancy. For example, radical prostatectomy is often reserved for men with an estimated life expectancy of at least 10 years.

  • Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) level

PSA, an organ-specific marker, is often used as a tumor marker. The higher the level of PSA at baseline, the higher is the risk for metastatic disease or subsequent disease progression. However, it is an imprecise marker of risk.

  • Serum acid phosphatase levels

Elevations of serum acid phosphatase are associated with poor prognosis in both localized and disseminated disease.

Staging of prostate cancer

  • Stage 1 – The cancer is small and contained within the prostate.
  • Stage 2 – The cancer is larger and maybe in both lobes of the prostate, but is still confined to the organ.
  • Stage 3 – cancer has spread beyond the prostate and may have invaded the adjacent lymph glands or seminal vesicles.
  • Stage 4 – cancer has spread to other organs, or to the bone.

Treatment of Prostate Cancer:

Treatment options also may depend on the following:

  • Whether the patient has other health problems.
  • The expected side effects of treatment.
  • Past treatment for prostate cancer.
  • The wishes of the patient.