• Whats Your Shade?




    Need help finding your SHADE? Call 1-800-641-PCRI



    Welcome to the Prostate Cancer Blue Community, the PCBC. Blue is for prostate cancer like pink is for breast cancer. Prostate cancer is so complex we break it down into major categories or Shades of Blue. Having separate shades enables PCBC participants to connect with people in their category and find information relevant to their particular situation more easily. The first three shades, Sky, Teal and Azure represent the commonly described Low, Intermediate and High-Risk categories of men who have never had surgery or radiation (local therapy). The fourth and fifth Shades, Indigo and Royal, are for men with Relapsed and Advanced disease respectively.




    1. To qualify into Sky all the results must meet the criteria of the top row
    2. A single core having more than 50% cancer bumps the category to Teal
    3. Two or more results in the Teal row bumps the category to Azure
    ECE = Extra-capsular Extension


    So Many Types of Treatment—How Do You Choose?
    There are two general categories of prostate cancer treatment—Local and Systemic. Local therapy is directed at the prostate and its immediate surroundings. Examples are Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Brachytherapy, also called seed implants, surgery, focal cryotherapy and HIFU. Systemic treatment affects the whole body. Testosterone inactivating pharmaceuticals (TIP), also known as androgen blockade, is the most frequently used systemic therapy. Other systemic therapies are immunotherapy and chemotherapy.


    Sky: Men in this category have not had local therapy* They have PSA levels less than 10, a Gleason score less than 7, no nodule or a very small nodule on digital rectal examination, three or less biopsy cores positive for cancer and no single biopsy core more than 50% replaced with cancer.
    *Local therapy is defined as: surgery, brachytherapy (seed implants), beam radiation (IMRT, Proton, Tomotherapy, Cyberknife), Cryotherapy or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)


    Teal: Men in this category have not had local therapy* and have characteristics similar to men in the Low-Risk category except for one and only of the following characteristics: PSA between 10-20, Gleason score of 7, a somewhat larger palpable nodule, 34-50% of biopsy cores positive, or at least one core more than 50% replaced with cancer.
    *Local therapy is defined as: surgery, brachytherapy (seed implants), beam radiation (IMRT, Proton, Tomotherapy, Cyberknife), Cryotherapy or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)


    Azure: Men in this category have not had local therapy* They have a least one of the characteristics listed below. Men also qualify to be in the Azure category when they have two or more of the characteristics listed in the Teal category:
    a. PSA over 20 but less than 100
    b. More than 50% of biopsy cores involved with cancer
    c. Gleason score above 7
    d. Palpable nodule extending outside the prostate capsule or into the seminal vesicle
    e. Spread of cancer to the pelvic lymph nodes
    *Local therapy is defined as: surgery, brachytherapy (seed implants), beam radiation (IMRT, Proton, Tomotherapy, Cyberknife), Cryotherapy or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)


    Indigo: Men in this category have recurrent or persistent disease after previous local therapy* as defined by a persistent or rising PSA, a positive biopsy after surgery or radiation, a nodule felt on digital rectal examination or have documented evidence for spread to abdominal or pelvic lymph nodes and have none of the characteristics of advanced disease.
    *Local therapy is defined as: surgery, brachytherapy (seed implants), beam radiation (IMRT, Proton, Tomotherapy, Cyberknife), Cryotherapy or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)


    Royal: Men in this category may or may not have undergone previous local therapy.* They have confirmed spread of cancer to a distant area of the body other than the pelvic lymph nodes, a PSA above 100 or a rising PSA with castrate testosterone levels
    *Local therapy is defined as: surgery, brachytherapy (seed implants), beam radiation (IMRT, Proton, Tomotherapy, Cyberknife), Cryotherapy or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)


    Where to Learn More
    Understanding your SHADE makes proper treatment selection easier. The ultimate the goal is choosing a therapy with the maximum benefit with minimum harm. Education is essential. Talk to your doctors. Visit a support group. Many men in support groups will gladly share their experiences and knowledge. Access our website or contact the PCRI helpline via email help@pcri.org or phone 800-641-PCRI.



    Need help finding your SHADE? Call 1-800-641-PCRI
 
 
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