Categorized | Prostate Inflammation

Mortality Rate for Prostate Cancer Higher in UK than US

According to researchers in the United Kingdom, prostate cancer is the cause of half of the deaths of men diagnosed with the disease, challenging the notion that prostate caner patients die with rather than of the disease.  Their data show that the number of deaths specifically from prostate cancer was around 20 percent.  In contrast, about 15 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer die from this disease in the United States.

Experts attribute this difference to the high uptake of testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in asymptomatic men in the United States and the low uptake in the United Kingdom.

While British researchers say that routine PSA testing in the United States is picking up disease that might be clinically insignificant, thus leading to over-diagnosis and over-treatment of prostate cancer, American researchers argue that PSA testing detects prostate cancer at an earlier stage when it is still treatable and curable, leading to lower mortality rates in the United States.

The new data from the United Kingdom are from an analysis of 50,066 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1997 and 2006 from the Thames Cancer Registry.  Patients were followed until the end of 2007.  This registry covers a population of 12 million in Southeast England.  During the study period, 20,181 of the men died.  Prostate cancer was the cause of death in 49.7% of the men who had died.  These results held after researchers controlled for age, cancer stage, and first treatment.  Other causes of death included cardiovascular disease, other cancers, and pneumonia.

Prostate cancer was the cause of death in 74.3% of men who had stage IV cancer at diagnosis, in 46.4% of all men 75 years and older, and in 31% of all men who underwent radical prostatectomy.

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July 2011
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