As with any cancer, the effectiveness of treatment for prostate cancer depends quite heavily on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. Having the ability to immediately begin treatment for cancer – especially when the disease is in its earliest stages – allows for the greatest opportunity for an ultimate cure. The later the cancer is diagnosed, the more complicated the disease tends to be, the further it is has often spread, and the more challenging it becomes to treat.
Prostate cancer is one of the most curable types of cancer when it is treated in the early stages. So it’s vital that men undergo regular screenings to detect any changes to the prostate. Any flags that go up for your doctor will in turn instigate further testing, thus allowing the earliest ability to detect cancer if it exists.
Of course, the patient is always most concerned with prognosis – what their future looks like in terms of survivability and even achieving a cancer-free status. Here are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to the survival rates for prostate cancer:
When the prostate cancer is diagnosed in stages I and II (a large majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are diagnosed in these stages), the cancer is still localized to its original location with no evidence of it spreading. When prostate cancer is treated within these early stages, the patient has nearly a 100% 5-year survival rate.
Stage 3 of prostate cancer – also known as the regional stage – means that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate to adjacent areas. With treatment, there is still a nearly 100% 5-year survival rate.
By the time prostate cancer reaches stage 4 – also known as the distance stage – it has spread to other organs, bones, and distant lymph nodes. At this stage, the 5-year survival rate drops considerably to 28%. This is a clear example of how important an early diagnosis is for effective prostate cancer treatment.