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  • Prostate Cancer Deaths

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    Old 08-22-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
    minnie08
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    Prostate Cancer Deaths

    Hi, I have read there are approx. 400,000 prostate cancer deaths per year, however these statistics do not break down how many are acutally deaths from prostate cancer i.e. patients who waited for treatment until it was to late or patients who had advance prostate cancer.

    I would like to know if any professional who may read this board knows how many of these 400,000 deaths are deaths from complciations of treatments for prostate cancer? In these times, of increased awareness, more men seeking treatment etc. it would seem more men are getting treatment. But for anyone who has done alot of research on the web, you will find that surgery, radiation, radiation seeds, and chemical castration all have their severe complications some of which can result in death. Also there is a very good chance that some of these men, may get recurrent prostate cancer after radical prostate cancer surgery. This means they go through a terrible recuperation only to have the cancer return, with very few options.

    There is alot of literature that now states that up to 40% of diabetic men who have prostate radical prostectomies get prostate cancer again within 2-4 years. There is also a reoccurance of prostate cancer in radiation therapy.

    I have also read that radiation, as well as surgery can lead to bladder and colon cancer, meaning that the man may go through difficult rehabilitations, and then end up with another cancer requiring more major surgery, chemo or radiation.

    Are these incidents counted in the 400,000? It would be interesting to know if a man, decides against treatment and decides to live as long as possible, because he may have other medical problems such as cardiac, diabetes and hypertension, that he may be making a good choice that he may live longer then dying of the complications of treatment or of reoccurance of the cancer itself, after painful recuperations.

    I have not been able to find out any info on these stats and I do believe these stats are not only interesting but important for a man trying to make a decision to seek treatment or not. I have read alot of literature that supports my theory, that a man, if he so chooses and is approaching 70, has multiple medical problems may live longer if he just watches the prostate cancer and as long as it does not cause medical problems, rather then to take a chance of playing russian roulette with his life, and dying of complications of treatment sooner.

    If you can find info, please post it. I don't really think that the prostate treating professionals want this information out to the public, because it may release stats on how many failures of treatment there actually are and JMO that there is to much money to be made in this field, and physicians opt for radical treatment, because of the ligation society we live in.

    I just feel not enough research is being done on alternative conservative options that do not have such tragic and life threatening complications for some men and the anxiety and suffering this puts their loved ones through.

    Last edited by minnie08; 08-22-2008 at 06:18 PM. Reason: correction to post

     
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    Old 08-22-2008, 10:24 PM   #2
    dustydigger
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    Re: Prostate Cancer Deaths

    Hello Minnie. I can give you some facts that may be what your are looking for. Statistically, a person diagnosed with metastatic pc will have a 50% chance to survive 2 years. Worse odds than Russian roulette and that assumes an aggresive treatment being undertaken. No treatment and the percentages are worse. Also without treatment, you have to take into account quality of life issues. Radiation as a palliative treatment can mean the difference of being bedridden in excruciating pain or functioning at a level almost 100% pain free. Hormone treatment can extend your life by several years with minimal side effects. Certainly adding no life threatning side effects to the equation. If you're worried talk to your doctor about contraindicated drugs and their risk factors. Continued growth of cancer cells can block your ability to void resulting in wearing a catheter for the rest of your life (risk of embarrasment, risk of infection) or having painful surgery with it's own risks.(TURP) I was rushed to the hospital after being unable to void and was in tears with the pain. Forced to wear a catheter full time and then have surgery. Not opting for some minimal non invasive treatments such as hormone injections is a mistake in my opinion. You can track the effectiveness of the treatment with simple blood tests. If it is working, great. If you don't like the results you can quit or change medecin at any time. A relatively young man seeking no treatment is wrong in my opinion. I have less than a year to live with my pc. I would give anything to have the same chance at life which your husband has. Dying of pc is not a pleasant experience that I am looking forward to. Talk to your doctors with an open mind about the options for treatment. Good luck.

     
    Old 08-23-2008, 09:55 AM   #3
    shs50
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    Re: Prostate Cancer Deaths

    What a compelling case DustyDigger made for not using denial in confronting prostate cancer. So well stated and sadly true. One of the most dramatic examples I witnesssed several years ago was that of the world famous jazz flutist Herbie Mann.
    We were at one of his last great concerts and following his amazing performance he addressed the audience on a personal note. He stated he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer after avoiding a biopsy after his PSA was suspiciously above "normal". He said the cancer had now spread to his bones and was incureable because he wasted the opportunity to treat it on a timely basis. He implored all the men in the audience to avail themselves of the opprtunuty provided by PSA screening and to not delay attacking prostate cancer as aggressively as possible if diagnosed so as to avoid his situation. Six months later he died. I'll never forget him or his pleading advice. Two years later I developed prostate cancer and immediately sought the treatment at the best place I could, Sloan-Kettering. At age 69 I had the radical surgery by their best surgeon, Dr. Scardino and 7 years later I'm cancer free with undetectable PSA and the same quality of life I enjoyed before. I just saw my two oldest grandchildren graduate high school, was able to help finance their college expenses and hope to live long enough to see my youngest grandchild now 6 graduate and get married.
    Each person has to make their own difficult choices when confronting a life threatening illness. I'll forever be grateful to the late Herbie Mann for influencing me to make the choices I did.

    Last edited by shs50; 08-23-2008 at 10:01 AM.

     
    Old 08-23-2008, 03:21 PM   #4
    minnie08
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    Re: Prostate Cancer Deaths

    a diabetic hypertensive male, over 65 has a 40% chance of the prostate cancer returning after excrutating radiacal prostate surgery, with the chances of colon cancer and bladder cancer developing. I found this stat by the American Diabetic Association.

    You must consider the other medical issues that some are dealing with. For instance, there is alot of medical literature that substantiates my statement that diabetics who are hypertensive make poor candidates for radiation treatment, and there is a high incidence of reoccurance of cancer, development of bladder rectum fistulas, a life threatening problem, etc. They also can develop radiation toxicity and radiation therapy can cause colon and bladder cancer. The radiation also would decrease my husbands immunity system which is already compromised by diabetes. For instance, he gets an infection that would be minor in a healthy 66 year old man, but in him it can be life threatening. While radiation diabetic patients may do well for 2-4 years, reoccurance of the cancer is a common problem. ( again from the American Diabetic Association)

    The life expectancy of a man with multiple medical problems is shortened, and the average for a man with all of these medical problems is approximately 73.4 years. A 66 year old man, with all these problems, also has a very good chance of having to wear external ostomy bags for bowel and bladder, if the cancer is in the bladder or colon or if there are fistulas that develop. This can happen with surgery or radiation. If this should happen a diabetic, could be at risk of an infection of the urinary system including kidneys and the blood system, that would be fatal. ( source Diabetics do not make good surgical patients)

    I understand the bone mets and the chance of metasticis to the bone, however my husband may die of other things before he dies of prostate cancer. We have just gotten a new physician, and we drew up advance directives for both of us. We do not want to suffer in pain, and want good pain management, but we do not want treatments or tests, that will temporarily arrest a problem only to have the problem reoccur in our early seventies and we may die from the complications first. ( These advance directives are for both of us, it is the same if I develop ovarian or breast cancer)

    We are in a catagory that I imagine alot of men are in with multiple medical problems, and I feel that we have to opt for the safest treatment. My husband could not tolerate surgery, or radiation treatment, and he would suffer with complications, just as the man who has bone mets.

    There is alot of information on google to be able to find literature, from reputatable universities, medical schools, and hospitals to cooberate what I am saying.

    Again, I would like to know how to find out how many of the 400,000 deaths from prostate cancer each year, are from complications of the treatment of prostate cancer and how many from prostate cancer itself. I think this information would be of interest to patients and their famalies to make a decision how to treat the disease, but also to doctors to know the best treatment to offer. Urologists usually want to operate, radiologists usually want to use radiation, onocologists will use radiation or drugs, however the patient and his family have to choose.

    I respect everyone's opinion, however I just want some to realize that some men with complicated medical problems have very few options unless they want to take a chance they will not get the complications. However literature also supports the theory that prostate cancer treatment can make a man more vulnerable to hypertension and diabetes, which would mean the diabetes, hypertension and heart disease my husband has could be made worse.

    If anyone finds the stats on a breakdown of the prostate deaths I would appreciate an answer. Thanks

    Last edited by minnie08; 08-23-2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: correction

     
    Old 08-23-2008, 09:30 PM   #5
    dustydigger
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    Re: Prostate Cancer Deaths

    shs50, that is a great story. I'm glad you told it to us. Minnie, I have been hypertensive since my 30's and it is controlled very well with medication. (Zestril and Adalat) I hope your husband is having his hypertension treated and not leaving it untreated for fear of taking medication. Being hypertensive has zero to do with any form of pc cancer treatment or cancer aggresiveness. It adds zero risk to any form of pc cancer treatment. I hope that adds to your knowledge base and does'nt add to your confusion. If you feel that you are getting conflicting information, you could try to get a referral to see a medical oncologist or a diabetes specialist and get true inforfmation and realistic risk assessment. An informed specialist can help you with your unique and individual situation better than a general article in a medical magazine. I hope you don't find my suggestion intrusive. I really wish you and your husband the best in dealing with this illness.

     
    Old 08-24-2008, 08:46 AM   #6
    shs50
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    Re: Prostate Cancer Deaths

    Men with diabetes and hypertension are routinely being treated for prostate cancer as well as men with serious cardiac conditions having had open heart surgery, etc. Since prostate cancer usually presents later in life, after 50, its hitting men past middle age who are more likely to have other medical issues. The prostate surgeons and radiation/ oncologists are experienced in treating patients with other medical risks and take them into consideration. If they believe the risks outweigh the benefits they inform the patient and suggest alternatives.
    Nevertheless, prostate cancer may present a greater risk, if not addressed,than chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension which can be controlled and managed and one can live with. One cannot live very long or well with advancing prostate cancer.
    Basing one's decision to avoid treatment on statistical risks ignores the statistics of those who benefit from treatment and avoid the horrors of metastatic spread for many years and die from other causes. Selecting the best specialists in the best medical institutions also substantially reduces the surgical or radiation risks of side effects.

     
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