ON CALL: Prostate sarcoma

ON CALL

Prostate sarcoma

Q. I had radiation for prostate cancer when I was 63, and I've been fine for the past eight years, with a low PSA. My dear friend just went in for prostate cancer and was diagnosed with a sarcoma. His doctors seem very gloomy. What's the difference?

A. Unfortunately for your friend, there is a big difference between the two diseases.

Your problem was carcinoma of the prostate. It's the common type of prostate cancer that is diagnosed in about 230,000 Americans each year. Because prostate carcinomas often grow quite slowly and because most will respond nicely to treatment, most men with the disease do very well. Your response to treatment, in fact, sounds typical, and you have every reason to expect that it will continue.

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