Prostate Cancer


Prostate cancer occurs in a man’s prostate — the small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer also is known as Jewett stage D2 prostate cancer; stage D2 metastatic prostate cancer; hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer; and metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

General information

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men (behind skin cancer), but it often is treated successfully. More than 2 million men in the U.S. count themselves as prostate cancer survivors.

Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

The overwhelming majority of prostate cancers are diagnosed early and have an extremely high long-term survival rate. For those cancers diagnosed after the cancer has spread, the survival rate is much lower. Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. Disease that is more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Trouble urinating,
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine,
  • Blood in the urine,
  • Blood in the semen,
  • General pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs,
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area,
  • Bone pain, and
  • Erectile dysfunction.

The diagnosis of prostate cancer requires a biopsy, and the most common method is by fine needle biopsy of a prostate mass. Screening tools include digital rectal examination (DRE), Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, and transrectal (TRUS) ultrasound. Determining the stage of the cancer is based on the results of the biopsy, as well as imaging studies such as radionuclide bone scans, computerized tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), ProstaScint Scan, lymph node biopsy, or laparoscopic biopsy.

The treatment for prostate cancer-hormone refractory disease depends on your age at the time of diagnosis, coexisting medical illnesses, symptoms, and the presence of distant metastases. The most common treatment for prostate cancer- hormone refractory disease is a combination of hormone therapy (chemical castration) and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).

Social Security Administration POMS DI 23022.282 — Prostate Cancer-Hormone Refractory Disease or with Visceral Metastases

Prostate cancer is listed under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowance Program, which was launched in 2008 to expedite certain disability claims. Applying for disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Program requires the same procedure every applicant must follow when applying for SSA disability benefits; however, you will be notified if your condition is being considered as a compassionate allowance.

Prostate cancer can be evaluated under the SSA medical listing 13.24-A or B. Listing level criteria under 13.24-A or B requires that your prostate cancer be either in the metastatic stage (stage IV) to your lungs, liver, or other internal visceral organ (excluding bone metastases), or progressive and/or recurrent, despite initial hormonal therapy. Prostate cancer with visceral metastases meets SSA medical listing 13.24-B.

Your representative can help you determine whether your condition meets the severity requirements to be found disabled under the Social Security Administration. He or she may be able to help expedite your disability claim if you have a diagnosis of prostate cancer.