Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in American men. This year, an estimated 238,500 men will be diagnosed with the disease; 29,720 will die, accounting for 10 percent of male cancer deaths.
Prostate cancer usually affects older men. The cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the prostate gland. There are few warning signs. Most prostate cancers are detected during routine physicals or when a patient’s routine blood work shows abnormally high levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). This is one reason it is important for men to get regular physicals that include blood chemistry panels.
As the disease progress, the patient will develop symptoms. These include:
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Interrupted or weak urine flow
- Pain during urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain or stiffness in the back, hips, or pelvis
Treatment of prostate cancer may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of male cancer deaths, but it has a high survival rate. The five-year survival rate for prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent. The ten-year survival rate is 98 percent. Most prostate cancer deaths occur when the cancer is not treated early and spreads to distant lymph nodes, bones, and other organs.
Social Security Disability for Men with Prostate Cancer
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) criteria for approving disability claims for applicants with prostate cancer are outlined in disability listing 13.24. An applicant may qualify for automatic approval of benefits if he has a diagnosis of prostate cancer with medical evidence of one of the following:
- The prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, including distant lymph nodes, internal organs or bones.
- The cancer has worsened despite hormonal treatment.
- The prostate cancer recurred after hormonal treatment.
Patients who do not meet this listing but are unable to work because of their symptoms may still qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To qualify for SSDI for prostate cancer under a medical-vocational allowance, you will need to show that symptoms of your cancer or the effects of the treatment limit your ability to walk, stand, or sit for an extended period of time. It may be embarrassing, but you will need to let the SSA know if your need to urinate frequently affects your ability to do your job.
If you are denied your benefits, you will have a chance to appeal. Hiring a Providence disability attorney can increase your chances of getting disability benefits. To learn more, request a free copy of Rhode Island SSDI attorney John Keefe’s book, 7 Costly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim, or contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.