Ask a Doctor
- Differentiation refers to how closely the cancer resembles normal tissue. This is assessed by calculating the Gleason score as mentioned earlier. The less differentiated the cancer, the poorer the prognosis.
- The stage refers to the extent of the cancer -- whether it is localized or has spread beyond the prostate. The greater the degree of cancer spread, the poorer the outlook.
5-year survival rates are very good for men with prostate cancer.
- According to the American Cancer Society, most men with these cancers survive at least 5 years.
- Most prostate cancers are slow growing, as shown by the fact that a majority of men with prostate cancer survive at least 10 years.
- Sometimes, however, prostate cancers grow and spread rapidly. Therefore, early diagnosis is essential for a cure.
If a man is elderly and has other medical conditions, watchful waiting may be the most prudent course.
- Therapy may be more harmful than the cancer.
- This is especially true if a man's life expectancy is less than 10 years.
- Many times, elderly men with prostate cancer actually die of something else, such as heart disease, not the slow-growing prostate cancer.
A man and his family members should discuss this with his urologist.
For more information, read our full medical article on prostate cancer.
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