Decorative image

Survival

Survival depends on many factors. No one can tell you exactly how long you will live.

These are general statistics based on large groups of people. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case. 

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis). You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage

There are no UK-wide statistics available for prostate cancer survival by stage. 

Survival statistics are available for each stage of prostate cancer in England. These figures are for people diagnosed between 2013 and 2017. 

Stage 1

Stage 1 means the cancer is in only half of one side of the prostate, or less. It is completely contained within the prostate gland.

Almost everyone (almost 100%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 2

Stage 2 means the cancer is in more than half of one side of the prostate. But it is still completely contained within the prostate gland.

Almost everyone (almost 100%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 3

Stage 3 means the cancer has broken through the covering (capsule) of the prostate gland. It may have spread into tubes that carry semen (seminal vesicles).

Around 95 out of every 100 men (around 95%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 4

Stage 4 can mean different things, including:

  • the cancer has spread into nearby body organs, such as the back passage or bladder
  • the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes
  • the cancer has spread to other parts of the body outside the pelvis, such as the lungs or liver

Around 50 out of every 100 men (around 50%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Survival for all stages of prostate cancer

Generally for men with prostate cancer in England:

  • more than 95 out of 100 (more than 95%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more
  • more than 85 out of 100 (more than 85%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more
  • almost 80 out of 100 (almost 80%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more

Survival for prostate cancer is also reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But it is difficult to compare survival between these countries because of differences in the way the information is collected. 

What affects survival

Your outlook depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread.

The type of prostate cancer and grade of the cancer also affects your survival. Grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope. The most common system used to grade prostate cancer is the Gleason score. Men with a higher Gleason score have a poorer outlook.

Your outlook also depends on your PSA level. A high PSA level may mean your cancer grows more quickly.

Your general health and fitness also affect survival, the fitter you are, the better you may be able to cope with your cancer and treatment. 

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

More statistics

For more in-depth information about survival and prostate cancer, go to our Cancer Statistics section.