Getting a diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer can be devastating. The news, however, isn’t always as bad as it might seem. Researchers are finding that the metastasis location can greatly impact survival rates in prostate cancer.
To gain a better understanding of how metastasis site impacts prognosis researchers recently looked at data related to 9,000 men with castration-resistant prostate cancer. The study found that patients with lymph node only forms of the disease had the longest overall survival rate of more than 30 months. Patients who presented with a spread to the liver, however, had the poorest prognosis. Liver spread patients lived the shortest period of time after diagnosis; roughly half of the survival time for those who presented with lymph node metastasis. Researchers also found that bone and lung metastases fell in between the other two in regard to estimated survival rates.
The findings are significant in that they may help clinicians in choosing treatment options that are more appropriate based on patients’ unique cases. More aggressive treatments, for example, might be called for to extend survival rates for those with liver metastases.
Prostate cancer affects an estimated 180,000 American men each year. While many men find that their form of prostate cancer is highly treatable, that is not always the case. An estimated 26,000 men do die from the disease annually. More aggressive forms of prostate cancer often require more aggressive treatments that may include radiation, surgery and chemotherapy.
Men who are diagnosed with any form of prostate cancer are urged to speak with their doctors about all treatment options. It is important for men to understand their likely prognosis and the benefits and potential risks associated with each treatment options. All men are urged to talk to their doctors about prostate cancer screening, especially when they reach middle age.