Currently, prostate cancer survival rates are doing very well. Within a five-year time frame, there is a survival rate of 98%. This number has continually improved throughout the years as technology and research have improved.
Survival rate statistics can give us an approximate estimate concerning what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive post-diagnosis. The time frame for this data is usually 5 years. The rates, however, cannot predict how long a person will live after diagnosis. Yet, they can still help to inform a patient on how likely it is that treatment will be successful.
Although survival rates can estimate how many people survive with the same type of cancer within a large group. They cannot predict what will happen in any given individual case. It is important to keep this in mind. Asking your doctor about these statistics can help to clarify any doubts about your situation.
What influences survival rates?
There are many factors to consider when talking about survival rates. All of these can influence survival, especially in men undergoing advanced prostate cancer. Below is a list of factors that influence survival rates:
- Stage of cancer: this is described by doctors using the TNM system (tumor, node, metastasis). Doctors use scans and diagnostic results to determine important values. Such as, how large a tumor is and where it is. If the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes and has the cancer spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). Together those values are combined to see what stage the cancer is. The scale has five stages. 1-2 on the TNM scale refers to localized prostate cancer that has yet to spread. Stage 3 means the cancer has spread to nearby areas or lymph nodes. Stage 4 involves cancer spreading to organs far from its origin point.
- Age: Age is an important factor in the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. It has less to do with survival rates.
- Race: Survival rates are impacted by disparities in healthcare access, which lead to late diagnosis. This then has an effect on survival rates. In the United States, Black men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer among all other ethnic groups.
Disease recurrence, smoking and tumor grades
- Disease recurrence: If a patient has an increased PSA level post-prostate cancer surgery, they are then considered to have a recurring disease. Recurrence doesn’t always influence survival rates, however. Even with recurrence, 15-year survival rates are at about 94% in cases of low-risk recurrence.
- Smoking: Smoking is a factor in practically all types of cancer survival. This includes prostate cancer. Smokers have lower survival rates and higher chances of recurrence. Stopping smoking can have a positive impact on survival rates.
- Tumor grade: This score determines how far a cell has mutated beyond recognition from a normal cell. Grade 5 cells are cancer cells that have mutated to a point that they look completely different to a regular cell under a microscope. Whereas, Grade 1 means they are normal and functioning nominally.
Although there are many factors to consider when talking about prostate cancer survival rates, the most important thing to consider is that overall survival rates are very high. They are at 98%, even when taking Stage 4 prostate cancer cases into account.
Check our resources section for further information. Where you can also find inspiration from success and survival stories, or we can help you connect with a prostate cancer survivor.
If you have any questions, or just want to talk, call us at our toll-free hotline: 1(833)HEAL-MEN. You are not alone in this journey. We are here to help guide and support you through it, every step of the way.