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Prostate cancer

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Survival statistics for prostate cancer

Survival statistics for prostate cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because survival statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person's chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for prostate cancer and what they mean to you.

Relative survival

Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer, but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).

In Canada, a 5-year relative survival statistic is reported for prostate cancer. The 5-year relative survival for prostate cancer is 96%. This means that, on average, men diagnosed with prostate cancer are 96% as likely to live 5 years after diagnosis as people in the general population.

Survival by stage

Survival varies with each stage of prostate cancer. The following factors can also affect survival for prostate cancer.

  • Prostate cancer grows slowly. Many older men will die from diseases other than prostate cancer.
  • Generally, the earlier prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
  • Sometimes prostate cancer is not found until it is at an advanced stage, which can make it more difficult to treat.
  • Prostate cancer is very responsive to treatment.
  • There are many effective treatments available for prostate cancer.
  • Advanced, recurrent and hormone-resistant prostate cancers can be difficult to treat because these do not respond well to some cancer treatments.
  • The grade of prostate cancer is also a strong predictor of survival.

Prostate cancer survival

Stage5-year relative survival

stage I or stage II


stage III or stage IV without distant spread


stage IV with distant spread


UICC prognostic grouping of prostate cancer of the prostate is based on the stage, PSA level and the Gleason score of the prostate cancer. This is a more accurate grouping than stage grouping to assess prognosis.

Questions about survival

People with cancer should talk to their doctor about their prognosis. Prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • a person's medical history
  • type of cancer
  • stage
  • characteristics of the cancer
  • treatments chosen
  • response to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.


Dr Marc Therrien Dr Marc Therrien is working toward blocking a cancer-driving protein.

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