I’m assuming that you mean stage 4 when you say level 4. What is not certain to me is whether you mean that there are 3 individual primary cancers, or 1 primary site cancer with metastasis to 2 sites, such as bone, liver, lung, etc. Anyway…. Let me try to answer with what we have:
As to the question of how deadly: one index used is the number of newly diagnosed cases compared with the number of deaths per year. For prostate cancer, American Cancer Society 2007 data estimates 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 27,000 deaths. Compare this with lung cancer (which is the biggest killer): there are 213,000 new cases and 160,000 deaths per year.
There are two important points here to consider:
The first is that, in general cancer deaths occur when critical organs are compromised by disease.Therefore , it is obvious that patients with cancer in the lung are more likely to die, than one involving the prostate.
Another point to consider that these figures apply to all cases. There is a trend to catch prostate cancer early since the advent of PSA, and hence there is an apparent improvement in care (because it seems that although 217000 are diagnosed, in general only 27000 are expected to die). In truth, there has not been a clear survival improvement over the last 10 years because it is hard to isolate the effects of early detection. You may wonder why folks like Mandela and Guiliani do well, while others do not - they're different because the disease burden at diagnosis was different.
There is another way to answer your question: that is by giving a survival estimate.
The estimate depends on whether or not your grandfather is responsive to hormone therapy or not. If he is not responsive, the median survival (this means that half of patients reviewed reach this mark), would be about 16-18 months. If he is still responding to hormones, then he will likely do better than the estimated year and a half.
Of course, if anyone is to give a best estimate, it would have to be his doctor – as there are details with the other cancers that you have not shared. And while you say that the cancer is level 4 – you made no mention on how strong your grandfather is. Afterall, even if the cancer is level 1, and his general health is poor (or for purposes of comparison – let’s call his strength level 4), then he may do worse than if the opposite were true.
I think I missed the query about: can it be treated?
If the cancer is stage 4, the goals of treatment need to be defined. If it is a question of improving symptoms - then the answer is a clear YES. YES, there are treatment options.
If the goal is prolonging life expectancy - the answer is still yes - but the difference may be modest, it may be in the order of a few months or so.
Best to discuss these goals with your doctor.
Stay positive and once more - happy holidays.
I was told I had cancer in my bladder,then after biopsy of bladder I was told i had an infection of my urinary tract infection..I was put on Macrobid 100 mg bid...at first the med seemed to help....Now Im having the burning and cloudy urine. I was told there is a WASH that is being used for chronic bladder infections that works....what is your opinion Doctor ??
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