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22

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Prostate Cancer, Version 1.2016

3

Treatment planning

22 Life expectancy

24 Risk assessment

25 Imaging for metastases

28 Review

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 8 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

There are many sources of

information that doctors use to plan

treatment. Such sources include the

tests and the grading and staging

systems that were described in Part 2.

The side effects of treatment that are

listed in Part 4 and your personal

preferences are other sources. Here,

in Part 3, three more sources that

doctors use are explained.