What's the prognosis for advanced prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer

How Long Will I Live With Advanced Prostate Cancer?

The prognosis for advanced prostate cancer prognosis is dependent upon several factors. While no case is typical, you can learn something about your prognosis for advanced prostate cancer.

For every 100,000 men in the United States, just over 152 will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime. This works out to be about 15% of all men or nearly 1 in 7. It is more common among African American men compared to white men, while rates among Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and American Indian/Alaska Natives are lower. The 5-year life expectancy approaches 100% while the 15-year life expectancy is about 93%.

Factors affecting prognosis for advanced prostate cancer

Your prognosis depends on several factors:

Stage at diagnosis: While most men are diagnosed with local disease initially, nearly all men will eventually progress or develop symptoms. Your stage represents your doctor’s estimate of how much of your body is affected by your cancer. While there are several subdivisions, prostate cancer is a 1-4 staging with the lower number being less advanced cancer. Because many prostate cancers are slow growing and nonaggressive, a diagnosis with an early stage cancer may mean that you are more likely to have medical problems from another condition rather than prostate cancer. These men may live for up to 20 years with their prostate cancer. If you have a more aggressive cancer, your chances of dying will increase.

Your current health: Your age and underlying medical conditions will all contribute to your medical prognosis. The sicker you are, the less likely aggressive treatment will be recommended. Additionally, because the life expectancy with prostate cancer is generally good, most men with the disease die of something else other than prostate cancer.

New or recurrent diagnosis of prostate cancer.
It makes sense that if you have already had cancer and it is worsening that your prognosis would be slightly worse.

Gleason Score:
This is a grading system for prostate cancer made by looking at the prostate cancer cells under a microscope.The higher the Gleason score, the more likely your prostate cancer is to spread.

PSA: The higher your PSA at diagnosis, the more likely one is to see the the disease spread. Generally, the higher your PSA the more cancer cells you have in your body. This is not always the case, however, because some prostate cancers do not produce a high level of PSA.

It is important to understand all of the different factors that may affect your advanced prostate cancer prognosis.

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.


Parekh DJ et al. Prostate-specific antigen levels, prostate-specific antigen kinetics, and prostate cancer prognosis: a tocsin calling for prospective studies. J Natl Cancer Inst 99 (7): 496-7, 2007.

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