Can I Be Cured of Prostate Cancer?
It’s normal to worry about what prostate cancer will mean for you and your family. You may have questions like these: What are my chances of being cured? How long will I live? The answers to these questions are called your prognosis. Your prognosis is the likely outcome of your cancer. Your doctor looks at some of these outcomes when making your prognosis.
Your chance of being cured from cancer, called recovery
Your chance of having the cancer come back, called recurrence
Your chance of dying from the cancer
To make your prognosis, your doctor will use these facts.
The typical outcome for men with prostate cancer. The average of all these experiences makes up prostate cancer statistics.
Your doctor’s experiences with other patients who have prostate cancer
Your own case, including the type and stage of your cancer and your general health
Ask your doctor to help you understand what the statistics may mean for you. Keep in mind that even your doctor cannot tell you exactly what will happen to you. One reason is because your prognosis may change over time if the cancer progresses or if treatment is successful.
Some patients are less frightened when they learn about their prognosis. Some use this information to help them make decisions about tests or treatments. For others, a prognosis is confusing, scary, and too impersonal to be of use. It’s your choice how much information to accept and how to deal with it.
It makes some sense to plan for every eventuality when you are facing a serious disease. Still, don’t allow statistics to dictate your future. There are patients who have outlived their doctor’s predictions. Your prognosis gives a perspective, but it is not etched in stone. Try to focus your thoughts on the tens of thousands of men who have survived prostate cancer. You may be one of them.