Q: Is advanced prostate cancer becoming more treatable after diagnosis?
A: Approximately one in nine men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. While it is highly curable if found while localized, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death in men behind lung cancer. The treatment of prostate cancer that has moved outside to other areas such as lymph nodes or bones (advanced prostate cancer) has historically been frustrating due to a lack of options that extend survival time and improve quality of life.
Those options, however, have expanded greatly, especially over the past five years. There are approximately 14 Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for advanced prostate cancer with several more currently in trials awaiting approval. These options come in different forms including oral medications, injections and IV infusions. Each has various mechanisms of action in how they attack prostate cancer cells. Treatments can now result in extended survival times and greater quality of life.
Receiving news of a prostate cancer diagnosis, recurrence or progression of previously diagnosed prostate cancer is never easy. Be encouraged, however, that there are now many treatment options available in this setting for you or your loved one.
Dr. Edward McIntire is an urologist with Tennessee Valley Urology Center and a member of the Bradley County Medical Society.