The odds of American men receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer are about one in every eight men. However, only one in 39 men will die from this disease. If a man reaches the age of 80, about 80 percent of them will have cancer cells in the prostate gland.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men, after lung cancer. The majority of men will not die from a prostate cancer diagnosis. Nonetheless, every man must be aware of this disease and take necessary precautions.
It’s reassuring to know that about 98-99 percent of men will survive prostate cancer, but an essential element to surviving this disease is early detection. About a quarter of men will experience a recurrence of prostate cancer after five years of diagnosis. Their survival rate will be dependent on whether the cancer is confined to the prostate or if it has metastasized or spread and the aggressiveness of the disease. When prostate cancer is found at an early, more treatable stage, the success rate of beating it back is much higher.
So, of men who receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, at what stage are the majority of cases found?
To have a better understanding of staging of prostate cancer, let’s look first at the four stages of the disease:
Stage 1 or local – Cancer is present only in the prostate gland and there is no detection of spread beyond the gland.
Stage 2 or local – In this stage, the cancer is still localized or confined within the prostate gland, but has a higher risk of metastasizing beyond the prostate.
Stage 3 or locally advanced – At this stage, the tumor within the prostate gland has progressed with a higher chance of growing and likely cancer cells have spread beyond the confines of the prostate gland.
Stage 4 or distant – This stage is when there is confirmation that cancer cells have spread beyond the prostate. Cancer cells from the prostate typically spread to localized surrounding areas such as the lymph nodes or bones. Stage 4 will be determined on the basis of the severity of the spread and the aggressiveness of the tumor.
What stage of prostate cancer do the majority of men receive a diagnosis?
The majority of men – 70 percent according to the CDC – are diagnosed with prostate cancer during the localized stages of stages 1-3, when the cancer is still confined and has not spread. When caught early – ideally stage 1 – prostate cancer has an excellent survival rate and most men will remain cancer free within the next 5 years.
The best way to find prostate cancer as early as possible, is for men to begin at age 40, annually having a blood test called the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, a screening tool for detecting prostate cancer, which can be easily performed at their doctor’s office. Performing an annual PSA test will ensure a greater likelihood of prostate cancer being found at an early, more treatable stage.
Men with a family history of prostate cancer (dad, brother, son), African American men, and men older than 65, should be particular vigilant in having a yearly PSA test as they are more at risk for prostate cancer.
All men need to take charge of their health, especially prostate health, starting at the age of 40. It is recommended to have a yearly PSA test to detect prostate cancer early. Ignoring prostate cancer is not an option. Schedule an appointment with your doctor today to discuss getting a PSA test.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.