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Will metastatic prostate cancer ever be curable ?

or - let's say - within the next 20-30 years, do you think there's a chance that someone diagnosed with Gleason 10 , PSA 200 and lots of bone metastases, will be simply cured from this cancer for good?

20-30 years perspective is not that appealing to most of guys here, but you can always think of your sons, or just - other generations of patients

we know now that early detection is the key, but then again, surgery brings risks and side effects and a true cure would be wonderful

for now the goal is to make it a chronic condition by using lots of treatments one after another, but no one really talks about a cure, complete remission

Re: Will metastatic prostate cancer ever be curable ?

My take, based on what has happened historically, is that sometime, some day, someone will find what 'key' changes the normal process of cells dying and being replaced to the one we potentially face of cells becoming 'immortal' and building up masses that cause major malfunctions in our systems, leading to our death. Stopping that key turning will stop the process proceeding. There would then be no metastasis.

BUT ..... this kind of discovery is not likely to come out of the billions upon billions that are wasted in the current programs in the "War on Cancer" where existing knowledge is sifted and re-sifted in studies that achieve nothing, apart from providing the income of the people conducting the studies and publishing the studies. Like all major medical breakthroughs it is likely to come from a 'rogue' working outside the industry and not bound by the boundaries of the industry.

Such a discovery may already have been made but the chances of anyone listening are remote - look at the furore raised by the statement that, based on what we know now, early detection doesn't materially alter the mortality rate, merely create more an more men whose quality of life has been badly disrupted. The percenatge of male deaths from PCa in the USA was about 3% in 1976: it was about 3% in 2006 - the last published figures I saw.

All the best

Terry in Australia

Re: Will metastatic prostate cancer ever be curable ?

It doesn't matter if it is curable or controllable with minimum side effects to me as long as some breakthrough is made soon.

I think the reason the mortality rate remains the same despite great progress is because you are less likely to die of heart disease and stoke now. As an example, my father died of asbestos induced lung cancer at 89 but would have died of a heart attack at 82 if it weren't for the stent that he got.

Re: Will metastatic prostate cancer ever be curable ?

Sorry FRank, I don't follow your argument.

I'll concede that there is no doubt a change in the 'mix' of causes of death over time, but whicever way you look at that, the fact remains that 97% of male deaths (roughly) were caused by diseases and illnesses other than prostate cancer in the 70s and the same position pertains today.

For my money that demonstrates that the studies that have shown pretty conclusively that there has been no observable benefit in the early detecion and treatment of prostate cancer are likely to be correct.

All the best
Terry in Australia

Re: Will metastatic prostate cancer ever be curable ?

Terry, this thread was meant to be about educated guesses about the future of prostate cancer treatment and chances for a cure for metastatic prostate cancer in particular (or making it a chronic condition, with a few times times greater life expectancy than today) Thanks for the comments so far, if more will follow, then great.

Re this discussion about early detection.
Perhaps the incidence of prostate cancer increased?
Even if not, if you say the PSA testing hasn't changed the rates of deaths from prostate cancer, then it looks like you might be favoring not doing any PSA tests at all.

I think we know there's lots of slow growing cancers and a minority of agressive, Gleasons 9's and 10-'s. I read lots of stories of how early detection and agressive radical therapy saved lifes of those with high Gleasons. I think if one has agressive prostate cancer running in his family, he should do regular PSA tests to catch his cancer early in hopes to save his life, instead of just waiting for symptoms and believing his cancer won't be curable anyway.

Re: Will metastatic prostate cancer ever be curable ?

Terry,
We both agree with the facts in your first paragraph but you come to an incorrect conclusion in the second paragraph. If improvements were made in the treatment of most diseases since the 70's but no improvement in treating prostate cancer then the death rate for prostate cancer would have gone up and not stayed the same. It has stayed the same because the treatment for prostate cancer has improved by about the same amount as for other diseases. The end result is we all live a little longer than men who died in the 1970s.

Re: Will metastatic prostate cancer ever be curable ?

Paul,

I'm sorry the thread wandered, as threads do!!

So here's what I meant to express:

I think it is less likely there will ever be a 'cure' for metastasised disese: I think it is more likely that a discovery will be made as to the root cause of the disuption in the cellular process. Stopping that process will prevent the proliferation of the cells we currently label 'prostate cancer' and thise prevent metastasis.

I have no scientific references for my idea, merely my observations on life and how medical breakthroughs occur.

All the best
Terry in Australia

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