Although prostate cancer is highly treatable, recurrence is something that many patients are concerned about. A recurrence means that the cancer has come back, either in the same place where it originally developed or elsewhere in the body. Recurrent prostate cancer is typically detected through prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and imaging scans.
Approximately 20 to 30 percent of patients with prostate cancer will show signs of recurrence at some point in their lives. However, the relative survival rates remain high; 94 percent of patients live at least 15 years after their original diagnoses. Although it’s impossible to predict the recurrence of prostate cancer, certain factors may play a role. For instance:
- Patients who were diagnosed with cancer cells in the lymph nodes of their pelvic region may be more likely to experience a recurrence.
- Primary prostate tumors that are especially large, extending outside of the prostate gland at the time of diagnosis are associated with higher recurrence rates.
- In general, the higher the grade of the initial cancer, the higher the rate of recurrence.
Treatment for recurrent prostate cancer is different than treatment for an initial tumor. Patients who have already undergone surgery may instead receive radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, or some combination as a second-line treatment; they may also consider a clinical trial. The grade and location of the recurrence, along with the original treatment plan and the patient’s health, will help determine which treatments will be used if the prostate cancer returns. Patients with recurrent prostate cancer can turn to Moffitt Cancer Center’s Genitourinary Oncology Program for a wide range of innovative treatments, delivered by a team of oncologists who specialize in prostate cancer.
Medically reviewed by Monica Chatwal, MD.
We create individualized treatment plans for all of our patients, offering them the best opportunities for successful outcomes and the highest quality of life. If you’d like to meet with one of our oncologists to discuss treatment for a prostate cancer recurrence, call 1-888-663-3488, or request an appointment. No referral is required.