NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Prostate Cancer - page 19

19
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Prostate Cancer
Version 1.2014
Part 3: Treatment planning
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Notes:
3.1 Life expectancy
To help assess what tests and treatments you need, your doctor may determine
the number of years you will likely live. These years are called your life
expectancy. It may be hard to talk with your doctor about how long you might
live. However, this information is very important for your health care.
Prostate cancer often grows slowly. If you’re likely to die of other causes, having
more tests and cancer treatment may have little or no benefit. Likewise, if the
cancer isn’t causing symptoms, there may be no benefit to having more tests.
How many years you may live is estimated with two sources of information.
First, research on the general population tells how long the average man may
live based on his age. See Part 3.4 for website information. The second source
is your general health.
If you’re in excellent health, the number of life years from the general population
research is increased by half. If you’re in poor health, the number of years is
decreased by half. If you have average health, no change is made. See Figure
6 for examples. This method may correctly predict length of life for a large group
of men, but it can’t predict without a doubt what will happen to you. Even so, it
gives a starting point for suggesting treatment options.
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