No one wants to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. But as cancer diagnoses go, prostate cancer is often a less-serious one. Prostate cancer is frequently slow-growing and slow to spread. For many men, prostate cancer is less serious than their other medical conditions.
For these reasons, and possibly because of earlier detection of low-grade prostate cancers, prostate cancer has one of the highest survival rates of any type of cancer. WebMD takes a look at prostate cancer survival rates and what they mean to you.
Behind almost every person coping with advanced prostate cancer is a dedicated caregiver. The role of caregiver involves a wide range of responsibilities. Some are as basic as driving him to doctor appointments and preparing meals. Others are complex, such as managing finances and providing emotional support in the face of an uncertain future.
Caregivers also serve as the major link between a man with prostate cancer, his loved ones, and health care providers. Caregivers need to stay informed about...
After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. And these are just the men who are diagnosed. Among very elderly men dying of other causes, a surprising two-thirds may have prostate cancer that was never diagnosed.
Only 1 in 35 men, though, actually dies from prostate cancer. That's because most prostate cancers are slow-growing and non-aggressive. Also, most men are older when they're diagnosed with prostate cancer. The majority of these men eventually pass away from heart disease, stroke, or other causes -- not their prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Survival Rates Are Favorable Overall
Thinking about survival rates for prostate cancer takes a little mental stretching. Keep in mind that most men are around 70 when diagnosed with prostate cancer. Over, say, five years, many of these men will die from other medical problems unrelated to prostate cancer.
To determine the prostate cancer survival rate, these men are subtracted out of the calculations. Counting only the men who are left provides what's called the relative survival rate for prostate cancer.
Taking that into consideration, the relative survival rates for most kinds of prostate cancer are actually pretty good. Remember we're not counting men with prostate cancer who die of other causes:
99% of men with prostate cancer overall will survive more than five years after diagnosis.
For the more than 90% of men whose prostate cancer is localized to the prostate or just nearby, the prognosis is even better. Almost 100% of these men will live at least five years.
Another way to put this last point is nine out of 10 men with prostate cancer have localized cancer. Almost none of these men will die from their prostate cancer over five years.
Fewer men (about 5%) have more advanced prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis. Once prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate, survival rates fall. For men with distant spread (metastasis) of prostate cancer, about one-third will survive for five years after diagnosis.
Many men with prostate cancer actually will live much longer than five years after diagnosis. What about longer-term survival rates? According to the American Cancer Society: