Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

Prostate cancer survival rates, in most cases, refer to the number of people who are still alive 5 years after diagnosis, regardless if symptoms are present. Factors that influence these rates include the cancer's stage and location, as well as the patient's age. For that reason, prostate cancer survival rates should not be used to determine what will happen to an individual patient.

Prostate Cancer Survival Rates: An Introduction

Prostate cancer survival rates indicate the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of prostate cancer who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. In most cases, statistics refer to the 5-year prostate cancer survival rate. This is the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after a prostate cancer diagnosis, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of prostate cancer, are free of disease, or are having treatment.
The prostate cancer survival rates are based on large groups of people and cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and prostate cancer treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.

Factors Influencing Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

In general, prostate cancer survival rates will depend on:
  • The stage of prostate cancer (see Stages of Prostate Cancer)
  • The patient's age and general health
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has come back (recurred) 
  • The Gleason score and the level of PSA.

Overall Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of prostate cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall 5-year relative prostate cancer survival rate for 1995-2002 was 99 percent. The 5-year relative prostate cancer survival rates by race and sex were:
  • 99.9 percent for white men
  • 97.6 percent for black men.
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