March 18, 2013 9:36 am

Dr. Kris Gast ~ Ask the Pros

Posted in: Ask the Pros

Radiation Oncologist at Fort Smith Radiation OncologyQ: What stage is a prostate cancer when during a prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate) it is found that the cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes? How is this treated and what is the prognosis?

 

A: When staging prostate cancer, the doctor has to look at the extent of the disease in the prostate and at whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.  When a prostate cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes, it is labeled a Stage IV cancer. In the case where the prostate has been removed, the patient should then be referred to a radiation oncologist to discuss radiation therapy to the pelvis area where the lymph nodes are located.  Even though the positive lymph nodes make this cancer a Stage IV, the survival rate is nearly 100% five years from diagnosis.  The survival rate drops to 70-80% 10 years after diagnosis.  In conclusion, most men with spread of the prostate cancer to nearby lymph nodes can live a very long time with the proper care and treatment.

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