Sunday, December 19, 2010


For some time now my white cells have been too low in number. My WBC is 2.8 k/mm3 (2,800 per cubic millimeter of blood) and the count should be above 4.0 k/mm3.

It was slipping way before I had radiation, but it has gotten worse since. And it's also gone back in a positive direction. In 2008 it was as low as 2.2.

My neutrophils count is also sometimes a little low, as it is now.

Scouring the web is not turning up much on this condition. It could be from radiation, I suppose, but the numbers and dates of treatment don't seem to correlate. Or there might be something wrong with my bone marrow, unrelated to prostate cancer. It's a mystery right now, because I have not seen a hematologist. My primary care doc wants to keep an eye on it right now. He says he would have referred me if I had been having trouble with infections (I haven't).

Beaumont Hospital Launches Study of Single-Dose Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer

A single, 15 minute treatment for prostate cancer? Sounds appealing to me, knowing what surgery and two months of IMRT was like.
Beaumont Hospital Launches Study of Single-Dose Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

age distribution of prostate cancer

Here are some interesting age-related statistics about prostate cancer in the US, from the SEER database.

From 2003 to 2007:

The median age at diagnosis was 67.

  • 0.0% were diagnosed at age 34 or younger (that doesn't mean zero in absolute numbers, just percent)
  • 0.6% were diagnosed between age 35 and 44 (that was my age bracket at diagnosis)
  • 8.9% were diagnosed from age 45 to 54 (still a small fraction)
  • 29.9% were diagnosed from 55 to 64 (now we're talking)
  • 35.3% were diagnosed between 65 and 74
  • 20.7% between 75 and 84
  • 4.6%  85 and older

The median age at death was 80.

  • 0.0% (again, this is percent, not saying zero men in absolute numbers) of the men who died from prostate cancer were 34 or younger.
  • 0.1% of the deaths from prostate cancer occurred between 35 and 44.
  • 1.4% of the deaths were between 45 and 54
  • 7.5% between 55 and 64
  • 19.9% between 65 and 74
  • 40.3% between 75 and 84
  •  30.8% were 85 and older. 

24.7 out of every 100,000 male deaths per year are from prostate cancer.  This number has been in decline since the early 1990's.  This figure is dwarfed by that of cardiovascular disease.

Photo credits (used under Creative Commons license):  alper and deVos