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Prostate Cancer

What’s the Survival Rate for Prostate Cancer?

The survival rate for prostate cancer may be on your mind if you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed. You likely have questions about the survival rate for prostate cancer. 

What are survival rates?

Doctors use survival rates as a way of discussing your prognosis or outlook. An example of what your doctor can tell you generally about your chances of survival is: if 100 men had the same prostate cancer as you with similar risk factors, “X” percent would “be alive in 5 years.”

The only problem is that this is not an exact science. Little other information will clue your doctor in as to whether you are likely to be one of the survivors or not. It is only a general guideline.

Whether or not you want this type of information is very personal. Some patients want to know the survival rate for prostate cancer in patients similar to themselves. Others do not want to know at all. There is no right or wrong answer—just personal preference.

Survival rate for prostate cancer

In 2013 there will be more than 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed and nearly more than 30,000 deaths. Overall 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and it is the second leading cause of cancer in men behind lung cancer.

Prostate cancer is generally a disease of older men, as it is rarely diagnosed in men under 40. Most cases occur in men 65 or older with an average age of diagnosis at 67. Interestingly, while any cancer diagnosis is serious, many men live for a long time with their prostate cancer and die of other causes. More than 2.5 million US men diagnosed with prostate cancer are living today.

Overall, the survival rates for prostate cancer are very good. Five-year relative survival rates are one of  the best ways to look at the impact of prostate cancer. Relative survival rates assume that patients will die from something other than prostate cancer, and then the death rates are compared to patients without prostate cancer. The 5-, 10-, and 15-year survival rates for all men with prostate cancer are nearly 100%, 98%, and 93% respectively.

Similarly, a survival rate for prostate cancer also can be determined by cancer stage. The 5-year survival for patients diagnosed with local or regional cancers is again nearly 100%. On the other hand, distant metastasis is only associated with a 5-year survival of 28%.

Treatments for advanced prostate cancer

Provenge is one of the treatments for advanced prostate cancer that can help you live longer. It is indicated when you have advanced disease or your prostate cancer is progressing. Rather than a chemotherapy or hormonal therapy,  Provenge is an immunotherapy that trains your immune system to fight prostate cancer. In general, Provenge is for patients who are in relatively good health despite their prostate cancer. The best patients are asymptomatic or just minimally symptomatic.

Your survival rate for prostate cancer may be different from the rates listed above. Many factors, such as your current health, PSA, or Gleason score impact your survival. You should talk with your doctor  to see how all of these will affect you.

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.


American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer.

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