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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.

Find out more about the counting and coding of this data.

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

94% of men survive prostate cancer for at least one year, and this is predicted to fall to 85% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Table 3.1).1

Table 3.1: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Men (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

1-Year Survival (%) 5-Year Survival (%) 10-Year Survival (%)
Men Net Survival 94.0 84.8 83.8
95% LCL 94.0 84.8 83.8
95% UCL 94.0 84.8 83.8

Download this table XLS (31KB) PPT (123KB) PDF (18KB)

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits
Five- and ten-year survival is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Prostate cancer survival falls only slightly beyond five years after diagnosis, which means most patients can be considered cured after five years. 84% of men are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.1).1 This high survival is due, in part, to the detection of latent, earlier, slow-growing tumours via transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for prostate cancer ranks 3rd highest (both overall and for males only).

Figure 3.1: Prostate Cancer (C61), Net Survival up to Ten Years after Diagnosis, Men (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

surv_curve_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (43KB) PPT (124KB) PDF (51KB)

Survival for prostate cancer is reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland,2,3 though it is difficult to make survival comparisons between countries due to different methodologies and criteria for including patients in analyses.

section reviewed 09/12/14
section updated 09/12/14

By age

Five-year survival for prostate cancer shows an unusual pattern with age: survival gradually increases from age 15-49 and peaks in men aged 60-69; survival falls thereafter, reaching its lowest point in men aged 80-99. Five-year net survival ranges from 90% in 15-49 year-olds to 93% in 60-69 year-olds, and falls to 59% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer in England during 2007-2011 (Figure 3.2).4 The higher survival in men in their fifties and sixties is likely to be associated with higher rates of PSA testing in this age group.

Figure 3.2: Prostate Cancer (C61), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2007-2011

surv_5yr_age_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (39KB)

section reviewed 09/12/14
section updated 09/12/14

 

Trends over time

As with most cancers, survival for prostate cancer is improving. 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 TURP and 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 figures due to lead-time bias (that is, the difference in time between screen detection and clinical detection in the absence of screening).5 Lead-time bias for prostate cancer is estimated to be between five and 12 years, varying with a man's age at screening.6,7 Data from the European Randomized Study of Prostate Cancer estimates that for a single screening test, mean lead times are 12 years at age 55 and six years at age 75.7 Some of the increase may also be attributed to genuine improvements in survival due to more effective treatment, for both early, aggressive prostate cancers and advanced cases.8

One-year age-standardised net survival for prostate cancer has increased from 66% during 1971-1972 to 94% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 28 percentage points (Figure 3.3).1

Figure 3.3: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Men (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_1yr_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (44KB)

Survival at five years is strongly associated with the amount of PSA testing in the population, though improvements in treatment are likely to have had some impact.8 Five-year age-standardised net survival for prostate cancer has increased from 37% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 85% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 48 percentage points (Figure 3.4).1

Figure 3.4: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Men (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_5yr_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (44KB)

Ten-year survival has increased by an even greater amount than one- and five-year survival since the early 1970s. This is again generally attributable to PSA testing, as well as the success of treatment.8 Ten-year age-standardised net survival for prostate cancer has increased from 25% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 84% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 59 percentage points (Figure 3.5).1 Overall, more than 8 in 10 men diagnosed with prostate cancer today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Figure 3.5: Prostate Cancer (C61), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Men (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_10yr_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (44KB)

section reviewed 09/12/14
section updated 09/12/14

 

By stage at diagnosis

Survival for prostate cancer is related to stage of the disease at diagnosis. The majority of patients present at Stages I or II.

One-year relative survival for prostate cancer ranges from 100% or higher at Stages I, II and III (which means survival is either the same or slightly better than that of the general population) to 80% at Stage IV for patients diagnosed during 2006-2010 in the former Anglia Cancer Network (Figure 3.6).9

Figure 3.6 Prostate Cancer (C61), One-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Men (Aged 15-99 Years), Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2006-2010

surv_1yr_stage_m_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (47KB)

Relative survival can be greater than 100% because it accounts for background mortality and means that people diagnosed have a better chance of surviving after diagnosis than the general population.

Five-year relative survival for prostate cancer ranges from more than 100% at Stage I to 30% at Stage IV for patients diagnosed during 2002-2006 in the former Anglia Cancer Network (Figure 3.7).9

Figure 3.7 Prostate Cancer (C61), Five-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Men (Aged 15-99 Years), Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2002-2006

surv_5yr_stage_m_prostate.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (145KB) PDF (48KB)

Relative survival can be greater than 100% because it accounts for background mortality and means that people diagnosed have a better chance of surviving after diagnosis than the general population.

section reviewed 09/12/14
section updated 09/12/14

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References for prostate cancer survival

  1. Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Personal communication, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
  4. Office for National Statistics. Statistical Bulletin: Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2007-2011 and followed up to 2012. Newport: ONS; 2013.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The National Cancer Registration Service, Eastern Office. Personal communication.
Updated: 9 December 2014