Cure is often the word cancer patients want to hear at the end of what can be a long, scary time in their lives.
But cure is a very tricky word when it comes to prostate cancer or any cancer for that matter.
According to the American Cancer Society, a cure means the cancer is gone, treatment is complete, and the cancer will never come back.
The sticking point is the word never. Doctors cannot guarantee the cancer will never come back. But the longer a person remains cancer-free, the better chance that person has of not having a cancer recurrence.
That is why most doctors tend not to use the word cure for prostate cancer or other cancers. Instead, they will say the treatment was a success or the cancer is in remission.
Prostate Cancer Recurrence, Survival, and Success Rates
When it comes to prostate cancer, here are some facts about recurrence, treatment, and success.
According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, — regardless of treatment type — prostate cancer will recur in between one-quarter and one-third of men. That includes men treated with either surgery or radiation.
Prostate cancer recurs because the initial treatment did not kill every single cancer cell or because the cancer cells had already spread without being detected. It tends to recur in the prostate or the seminal vesicles (sacs next to the prostate where semen is stored.) It may also spread through the pelvic lymph nodes to the rectum or pelvic wall. And it can also metastasize to the bones or other organs.
However, the relative survival rate — which looks at how likely a cancer patient is to survive for a specific period compared to the expected survival rate of someone without cancer – is high for prostate cancer patients.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the five-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer in the United States is 97%, and the 10-year relative survival rate is 98%. These are based on the stage of cancer, a person’s age, health, and treatment plan.
Plus, the earlier the prostate cancer is found, the better the relative survival rate. About 83% of prostate cancers are found in the early stages when it is most treatable. The five-year relative survival rate in these cases is nearly 100%. When prostate cancer spreads, the five-year relative survival rate is 32%.
That is why early detection and prompt treatment are the keys to beating prostate cancer. And that is why it is important to pick a treatment with a high success rate.
Prostate Cancer Success Rates with CyberKnife
CyberKnife — a state-of-the-art, noninvasive radiation treatment system using stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT to kill cancer – can successfully treat prostate cancer.
CyberKnife’s missile guidance technology enables the SBRT to track a tumor’s movement in real-time. The technology delivers radiation directly to the tumor while leaving healthy surrounding tissue virtually unharmed. This way it can deliver a high dose of radiation in a shorter time frame than with traditional radiation.
CyberKnife as a treatment for prostate cancer shows high success rates. Accuray, the maker of CyberKnife, reports that for low-risk patients the disease-free five-year survival rates are between 97% and 100%. For intermediate-risk patients, the rate is between 88% and 97%. And at 10 years the disease-free survival rate is 93% for low-risk patients.
According to Accuray, CyberKnife benefits for prostate cancer include:
- Excellent long-term cancer control.
- A non-surgical and non-invasive treatment.
- Fewer treatments over a shorter time frame.
- Lower incidence of sexual, urinary and bowel function side effects.
- Patients continue normal activities during treatment.
Side effects of CyberKnife can include tiredness and urinary or rectal irritation. However, over-the-counter medications help minimize these, and they usually resolve themselves in a few days or weeks.
“Years of mounting research is proving CyberKnife to be the gold standard for treating prostate cancer, and as more men learn about CyberKnife, it is becoming the number one treatment of choice,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami.
Prostate Cancer Treatment Miami
At the CyberKnife Center of Miami, we treat prostate cancer patients every day. That is one reason patients from around South Florida and the country turn to us for care.
If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information www.prostatecancertreatmentmiami.com.