Analysis of prostate cancer deaths

Categories: Spring 2023
Bell Tower and flowers PBCA Oldfield
©Dan  Oldfield

More of the prostate cancer deaths occurred in men initially diagnosed with Gleason  6 (low-grade) than in those diagnosed with Gleason 7 (high-grade).

Prostate cancer is sometimes portrayed as a “toothless tiger,” and it is said that “Every man will get prostate cancer if he lives long enough.” Also, “Patients with prostate cancer will die with prostate cancer and not of prostate cancer.” However, in a study based on data from the U.S. national cancer registry called Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, researchers estimated the survival and annual mortality rates according to age of diagnosis. 116,796 PC patients diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1992-1997 were followed for 20 years after the diagnosis. For men with low-grade prostate cancer, the annual risk of dying of cancer rose continuously with time since diagnosis and peaked in men 85 years and older. Low-grade cancer was more than 3 times more common in the population (81,056 cases) than high-grade cancer. And although the percentage of prostate cancer deaths that occurred within 10 years was greater in men with high-grade cancer, the percentage of prostate cancer deaths that occurred between 10 and 20 years of diagnosis was almost twice as high in patients with low-grade tumors. Thus, paradoxically, the total number of prostate cancer deaths was actually greater in men diagnosed with low-grade (10,020) than in those with high-grade cancer (7995).

 Cancers 2022, 14, 4149 https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14174149

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