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Living with Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is common in men. Of all cancer diagnoses, prostate cancer is often the less serious one. The disease is common with aging since it grows and spreads slowly. It has high survival rates compared to other types of cancers. Many men die not knowing prostate cancer was present.

Prostate cancer is often diagnosed in older men, and the majority of them do not die from the disease, but from other unrelated conditions such as stroke and heart disease.

Overall, the survival rates of prostate cancer are quite favorable. About 92% of cases are diagnosed in early stages (local), and almost all men with local disease will survive for more than five years after their diagnosis. A small percentage of men will be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

Survival rates for prostate cancer reduce when the disease has already spread beyond the prostate. Men with metastatic prostate cancer have little chances of surviving for five years after their diagnosis.

Many prostate cancer patients can actually live longer than five years after diagnosis. The American Society of Clinical Oncology highlights that men with local or regional prostate cancer have a 10-year survival rate of 98% and a relative 15-year survival rate of 96%.

Prostate cancer is staged using the TNM system. The system helps to describe each patient’s disease in detail, which allows doctors to decide on treatment.

Living with prostate cancer means having to choose the best treatment options, and coping with the side effects, such as fatigue, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction. It also means dealing with the life changes and emotions that come after diagnosis. 

Consulting with the urologist can help you understand the potential side effects to expect during treatment. Together, you can develop a good plan to deal with the side effects as they come.

While most patients respond well to prostate cancer treatment and the rates of survival are promising, it is important to know that treatments can change you emotionally and physically. Some of the side effects are persistent and will remain with you even after you complete your treatment. Your doctor can help you improve your life after surviving treatment.

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