Risk of prostate cancer recurrence
Doctors may classify prostate cancer into groups based on the risk of the cancer coming back (recurring) after treatment. They use these risk levels to help them develop treatment plans. Men in the high-risk group are usually offered aggressive treatment. Those in the low-risk group may be offered active surveillance without immediate treatment.
The risk level is based on the:
- tumour (T)
- prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level
- Gleason score
|Risk level||Tumour details (T)||PSA level (ng/mL)||Gleason score|
T1 or T2a
less than 10
6 or less
T2b or T2c
10 to 20
T3 or T4
greater than 20
8, 9 or 10
Treatment that uses regular and frequent tests to closely watch a slow-growing cancer. The goal of active surveillance is to help keep a good quality of life while delaying other treatments that can cause side effects for as long as possible. When test results show that the cancer is getting worse, treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy are offered.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.