Prostate Cancer: Newly Diagnosed? Info & Resources

WHAT WE DO

WHAT WE DO

Last Updated: February 8, 2019
PhD reviewed and approved

Table of Contents

• How Common is Prostate Cancer?
• Prognosis by Stage
• Testing and Staging Information
• How To Check For Prostate Cancer at Home
• Common Treatment Protocols
• Prostate Cancer Resources

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer certainly inspires a flood of emotions. It can be challenging for those who might be experiencing some of the symptoms of this cancer - difficulty urinating, pain in the back or pelvis, or blood in the urine - to take action and get it checked out.

This resource is meant to help educate users to gain an overview and understanding of prostate cancer, how common it is and staging information. At the end, we’ve put together what we feel is a comprehensive resource list that any prostate cancer patient should find useful.

How Common is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a fairly common cancer type for United States citizens, with 164,690 estimated new cases in 2018.

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis by Year

Source: NIH Cancer Stat Facts 


This makes this cancer type the third most common in the United States, representing 9.5% of all new cancer cases.

While this overall reported number is decreasing over time, certain populations have a higher rate of prostate cancer diagnosis. Those ethnicities include:

  1. African Americans (includes Hispanic)
  2. Non-Hispanic White
  3. White (includes Hispanic)

It’s a great trend to see that reported rate of diagnosis across all ethnicities have been trending down.

Prostate Cancer by Ethnicity

Source: NIH SEER*Explorer, all races, 2000-2015

Prostate Cancer by Age

Source: NIH Cancer Stat Facts

Prostate cancer generally affects an older population with the median age of diagnosis being 66.

The most common age range at time of diagnosis is 65-74.

Prostate cancer only happens with the male population.

Up-To-Date (2008-2014) Prostate Cancer Prognosis by Stage

Prostate cancer patients have an overall 5 year survival percentage of 98.2%.

Prostate cancer patients have an overall 5 year survival percentage of 98.2%.

Prostate cancer 5 year survival

This high survival rate percentage is due to 78.2% of cases having a stage 1 or “local state.” The percentage for patients who are diagnosed with localized prostate cancer is 100%.

A prostate cancer prognosis can vary dramatically based on the stage the patient is at. The following are five year relative survival rates by stage:

Prostate Cancer Prognosis by Stage

Source: NIH Cancer Stat Facts 

Prostate Cancer Testing and Staging

Testing for prostate cancer mirrors what a lot of other cancer types have for procedures to confirm a diagnosis.

First imaging occurs with an ultrasound or an MRI. If cancer is suspected, then a biopsy sample is taken for examination from the prostate via the rectum.

Unlike other cancer types, PET scans are not usually done after a confirmed prostate cancer diagnosis unless other symptoms are present or tumor markers show origins of metastasized cells that call for advanced imaging.

Staging for prostate cancer is usually confirmed from applying a Tumor/Nodes/Metastases system from the biopsy sample.

The following are staging classifications for prostate cancer:

State 1 (T1, T2A, N0, M0) - One lobe of the prostate and takes up less than half.

Stage 2 (T2b, T2c, N0, M0) - More than half of one lobe or in both lobes.

Stage 3 (T3, T4, N0, M0) - Tumor is found through the capsule and lower part of bladder or seminal vesicles. Also attached to or grown into rectum, pelvic wall, pelvic floor or external sphincter of anus.

Stage 4 (any T, N1, M0, or any T, N0, M1) - Cancer has spread to other parts of the body or to the bones.

How To Check For Prostate Cancer at Home and Most Common Symptoms

Prostate cancer testing is a controversial subject. Current testing methods such as a digital rectal exam haven’t shown preventative benefits and can actually produce adverse side effects.

There are no home self-examination methods without purchasing kits to test for specific proteins in your blood which could be an indicator of prostate cancer. These tests are in no way conclusive, with imaging and ultimately a biopsy confirming a diagnosis.

If your family has a history of prostate cancer, then screening could be the right thing for you. Consult your doctor to weigh the pros and cons of doing this.

If one of these symptoms are persistent consult your doctor about the possibility of looking for prostate cancer:

  • Trouble urinating or frequent urination patterns
  • A lack of flow in urination or trouble starting / stopping
  • Blood in urine or semen

Common Treatment Protocols

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on many different factors including stage, overall health, age, etc.

According to 2018 NCCN guidelines, the following are potential treatment options for prostate cancer patients:

  • Active surveillance - often seen in older individuals where side-effects could be life-threatening or tumors that are found that are of a small size
  • Surgical treatment options:
    • Radical prostatectomy
    • Open radical prostatectomy
    • Radical retropubic prostatectomy
    • Radical perineal prostatectomy
    • Pelvic lymph node dissection
  • Radiation therapy options:
    • External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
    • Brachytherapy
  • Cryosurgery
  • High-intensity ultrasound
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Clinical trials

Consult with your healthcare team to determine the best option for you.

Prostate Cancer Resources: App Support, Stories, Non-Profits, Financial Support and More

The following is a comprehensive list of prostate cancer resources. If we’ve missed anything that you’ve found useful, let us know! We would be happy to vet and include all resources.

App Support

Get support when and how you want it with these apps for your smartphone:

Prostate Cancer Stories

Read about profiles and stories of perseverance from these patients:

Prostate Cancer Patient Financial Assistance

The following are organizations that can financially help prostate cancer patients:

Anything to add?

We hope you found value in this resource. Have anything you wish to see? Or would you like to add a resource? Get into contact with Aerial Donovan at aerial@grythealth.com.