The good news

There are two important ‘good news’ messages that members of our group would like to convey:
  • There is strong evidence that in many cases treatment of prostate cancer can result in long term remission, particularly when it has been detected at an early stage.
  • Even if it is not detected early in its development, there are treatments which can still control many of the associated symptoms and problems, enabling an enjoyable and useful life for many years.
Fortunately, prostate cancer is often very slow growing and therefore many men will survive their cancer for many years. For example, the latest available official Australian Government statistics show that for the period 1998-2004, the five-year ‘relative survival rate’ for prostate cancer was 85.3%. This indicates that five years after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, about 85.3% of such men had survived. This compares very favourably with five-year relative survival rates for other types of cancer: only 10.7% for lung cancer, 24.4% for stomach cancer and 65.6% for kidney cancer.

Another cause for optimism is that survival rates for prostate cancer are improving markedly. The five-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer improved from 57.4% for the period 1982-1986, to 85.3% for the period 1998-2004. With improving diagnostic procedures, better treatment protocols and earlier detection there should be even further improvements in the future.

The source of the above statistics is the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report -
Australia’s health 2010. See our statistics page for selected tables from that report and a download link for the report.

On a more personal note, a considerable number of our group have undertaken treatment for prostate cancer and their cancer is in remission. The medical literature indicates that there are good chances of treatment leading to a state of remission when the cancer is detected early enough. This is particularly so when the cancer is confined within the prostate capsule. There is clear evidence that if the cancer is not totally contained within the prostate capsule, the probability that treatment can lead to long-term remission is reduced. Hence the importance of early detection.

While a cure may not be achievable for some men, there are treatments that enable most men to have a satisfying life for many years. These treatments and approaches to symptom and problem management are explained in detail in the books and documents
listed here.