Prostate cancer is cancer that originates from the prostate gland. Because the prostate gland is only found in men, prostate cancer is limited to men. While men can get prostate cancer at any age, over 70% of reported cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men over the age of sixty-five. The following risk factors can increase a man's chances of getting prostate cancer: age, race, nationality, diet, physical activity and family history.

Of all cancers, Prostate cancer causes the second most deaths in men. The survival rate of men with prostate cancer is strongly influenced by the stage of the disease. Prostate cancer is broken down into the following four stages:

1. Stage One - The prostate tumor is found "by accident" and couldn't be felt during the digital rectal examination (DRE). The prostate cancer is localized and has not spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.
2. Stage Two - The prostate tumor is found "by accident" or through a biopsy done because of a high PSA blood test result (measures a protein made by prostate cells). The prostate cancer is localized and has not spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.
3. Stage Three - The prostate tumor spreads outside of the prostate gland, usually to seminal vesicles; however, the prostate cancer does not spread to lymph nodes or any other organs
4. Stage Four - The prostate cancer spreads to lymph nodes distant organs.

Over 70% of all prostate cancer incidents found at the localized stages and is treatable through surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. The five-year survival rate for these men is 100%. For men whose prostate cancer has spread to the surrounding tissues, the cancer, in most cases, is still treatable and the five-year survival rate is 94%. In Stage Four prostate cancer, the survival rate drops dramatically and the five year survival rate is only 33%.

End-of-life care for prostate cancer patients in advanced stages involves seeing a barrage of doctors, nurses and therapists. Cancer patients can be treated in their homes or in the care of a hospital. During this time of need, the last thing that you or your loved ones should be worrying about is money. Unfortunately health care costs for prostate cancer treatments are expensive and those services may or may not be covered by your insurance.

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(National Cancer Society - Cancer Facts & Figures 2002)