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Prostate cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for prostate cancer by age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data by stage at diagnosis. The ICD code for prostate cancer is ICD-10 C61.

The statistics on these pages give an overall picture of survival. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics include all male adults diagnosed with prostate cancer, at all ages, stages and co-morbidities. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. If you are a patient, you will probably find our CancerHelp pages more relevant and useful. 

The latest survival statistics available for prostate cancer in England are 2005-2009 (followed up to 2010). Find out why these are the latest statistics available.

 

Note on prostate cancer survival trends

Survival rates for prostate cancer have been improving for 30 years. However, interpretation of prostate cancer survival trends is difficult as the case-mix on which they are based is likely to have changed over time with earlier diagnoses following the advent of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing.

The detection of a greater proportion of latent, earlier, slow-growing tumours in more recent time periods will have the effect of raising survival rates due to lead-time bias, that is, the difference in time between screen detection and clinical detection in the absence of screening.1

Lead-time bias is estimated to be between 5-12 years, varying with a man's age at screening.2,3 Data from the European Randomized Study of Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) estimated that for a single screening test, mean lead times of 12 years at age 55 and six years for a man aged 75.3

There may also have been genuine improvements in survival due to more effective treatment, both for early, aggressive prostate cancers and for advanced cases.4

section reviewed 26/06/12
section updated 26/06/12

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

The latest age-standardised relative survival rates for prostate cancer in England during 2005-2009 show that 93.5% of men are expected to survive their disease for at least one year, falling to 81.4% surviving five years or more (Table 3.1).5,6 Broadly similar rates have been reported for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.7-9

Table 3.1: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, Adults (Aged 15-99), England, 2005-2009 and England and Wales 2007

Relative Survival (%)
1 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Sex 2005-2009 2005-2009 2007*
Male 93.5 81.4 68.5

Download this table XLS (38KB)

Ten-year survival rates have been predicted for patients diagnosed in 2007 (using the hybrid approach)

A common misconception is to treat five-year survival rates as ‘cure’ rates. However, for prostate cancer survival continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis (Table 3.1).5,6 The five-year relative survival rates for prostate cancer are among the highest of the 21 most common cancers in England.5 High survival rates are due, in part, to the detection of a greater proportion of latent, earlier, slow-growing tumours via TURP and PSA testing.

section reviewed 26/06/12
section updated 26/06/12

By age

Unlike nearly all cancers, five-year relative survival for prostate cancer is slightly lower in men under 50. In men aged over 80, five-year relative survival is considerably lower than men in their fifties and sixties at 60.0%, even after taking account of the higher background mortality in older people. The reasons for the high survival rates seen in men aged in their fifties and sixties is likely to be due to PSA testing in this age group.

The five-year relative survival rates for prostate cancer in men in England during 2005-2009 ranged from 92.0% in 60-69 year olds to 60.0% in 80-99 year olds (Figure 3.1).5

Figure 3.1: Prostate Cancer (C61), Five-Year Relative Survival Rates by Age, England, 2005-2009

surv_5yr_age_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB)

section reviewed 26/06/12
section updated 26/06/12

 

Trends over time

As with the majority of cancers, relative survival for prostate cancer is improving. This can generally be attributed to PSA testing, although some of the increase may be due to improvements in treatment.4 In men, one-year relative survival rates for prostate cancer increased from 65.0% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 93.5% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.2).5,10-12

Figure 3.2: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised One-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995, England 1996-2009

surv_1yr_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (54KB)

Survival rates are for England only from 1996 onwards

Relative survival rates at five years for prostate cancer are mainly dependent on the amount of PSA testing in the population and on the success of treatment.4 In men, five-year relative survival rates for prostate cancer increased from 31.0% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 81.4% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.2).5,10-12

Figure 3.3: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995, England 1996-2009

surv_5yr_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB)

Survival rates are for England only from 1996 onwards

Ten-year relative survival rates for men diagnosed with prostate cancer increased from 21.0% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to a predicted 68.5% in England and Wales in 2007 (Figure 3.2).6,10,13 This is again generally attributable to PSA testing, though improvements in treatment are likely to have had some impact.4

Figure 3.4: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995 and Predicted 2007, England 1996 to 2003

surv_10yr_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB)

Survival rates are not age-standardised from 1971-1985
Ten-year survival rates have been predicted for patients diagnosed in 2007 (using the hybrid approach)

section reviewed 14/01/13
section updated 14/01/13

 

By stage at diagnosis

Survival from prostate cancer is strongly related to the stage of the disease at diagnosis. For disease which is confined to the prostate, five-year relative survival for patients in England in 1999-2002 is 90% or more, but if the disease is metastatic at presentation five-year relative survival is lower at around 30%.14

section reviewed 11/06/12
section updated 11/06/12

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References for prostate cancer survival

  1. Parker C, Muston D, Melia J, et al. A model of the natural history of screen-detected prostate cancer, and the effect of radical treatment on overall survival. Br J Cancer 2006;94(10):1361-8.
  2. Pashayan N, Powles J, Brown C, et al. Excess cases of prostate cancer and estimated overdiagnosis associated with PSA testing in East Anglia. Br J Cancer 2006;95(3):401-5.
  3. Draisma G, Boer R, Otto SJ, et al. Lead times and overdetection due to prostate-specific antigen screening: estimates from the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95(12):868-78.
  4. Kvåle R, Auvinen A, Adami HO, et al. Interpreting Trends in Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the Five Nordic Countries. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007;99(24):1881-87.
  5. For data for 2005-2009: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2005-2009 and followed up to 2010. London: ONS; 2011.
  6. For data for 2007: Coleman MP, et al. Research commissioned by Cancer Research UK, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 2010.
  7. Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU). Cancer Survival Trends in Wales 1985-2004. Cardiff: WCISU; 2010.
  8. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Cancer Statistics. Cancer of the prostate. Accessed September 2011.
  9. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR). Cancer Survival Online Statistics. Prostate. Accessed September 2011.
  10. For data for 1996-2003: Rachet B, Maringe C, Nur U, et al. Population-based cancer survival trends in England and Wales up to 2007. Lancet Oncol 2009;10:351-369. Age-standardised figures were provided by the author on request.
  11. For data for 1971-1990: Coleman MP, Babb P, Damiecki P, et al. Cancer Survival Trends in England and Wales, 1971-1995: Deprivation and NHS Region. Series SMPS No 61. London: ONS; 1999.
  12. For data for 1991-1995: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer Survival: England and Wales, 1991-2001, twenty major cancers by age group. London: ONS; 2005.
  13. Cancer Research UK. CancerStats report. Survival – England and Wales. London: Cancer Research UK; 2004.
  14. South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO). SWPHO Briefing 4: Prostate cancer survival by stage. Bristol: SWPHO; 2008.

Updated: 3 September 2012