Prostate Cancer

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Winning the Battle Against Prostate Cancer

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States. Prostate cancer can be a complex disease to treat. In some men, the disease is very aggressive and requires treatment. In others, however, it is a slow-growing disease that is unlikely to cause serious problems.

Statistics Are Abstract; Lives Aren’t

Drew Bouton, Prostate Cancer Survivor At age 45, Drew Bouton was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer. The late stage of his disease ruled out surgery, but thanks to leading-edge therapies at SCCA, Drew turned back his cancer. Read more about Drew.

If you have prostate cancer, where you choose to go for initial treatment has a significant impact on the likelihood of survival. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) doctors are nationally renowned experts in treating prostate and genitourinary cancers. The SCCA team provides customized treatments for each patient, including state-of-the-art techniques such as laparoscopic da Vinci robot-assisted surgery, ultra-precise radiotherapy techniques, and immunotherapy. In addition, there are many new medications and alternative treatments under investigation in clinical studies available only at SCCA and selected sites around the country.

Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

Below are the five-year survival rates for prostate cancer patients treated by SCCA compared to patients who were treated for prostate cancer elsewhere. This information was collected by the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for patients who were diagnosed and treated between 2003 and 2006 and then followed for five years. We’re only showing survival rates for patients who were diagnosed with stage II, stage III, or stage IV prostate cancer. There were not enough patients who were first diagnosed and treated at SCCA with stage 0 or stage I prostate cancer to provide meaningful results.

Stage II Prostate Cancer

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 97 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their combined five-year survival rate was 91 percent.

Stage III Prostate Cancer

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 95 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 91 percent.
  • Note: While the SCCA survival rates appear to be better for stage III prostate cancer, the data could not be statistically validated.

Stage IV Prostate Cancer

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 65 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their combined five-year survival rate was 38 percent.

The charts above include patients who were diagnosed between 2003 and 2006 and then followed for five years. The five-year observed survival rates are estimated using the actuarial method with one-month intervals. The endpoint is death from any cause (not cancer specific death); patients may have died from causes unrelated to their cancer. Calculations were performed using the NCDB Survival Reports software tool. Survival rates are not displayed when fewer than 30 cases are available, as survival rates calculated from small numbers of cases can yield misleading results and may have very wide confidence intervals.

The outcomes presented in the figures are not risk-adjusted. That is, the NCDB did not account for demographic differences (e.g., age at diagnosis, gender, socioeconomic status, and insurance status), prognostic factors, and comorbidities for SCCA and other hospitals. Also, the NCDB did not account for subjective differences in staging practices among hospitals. For example, it is possible that a cancer considered stage I at one hospital might be considered stage II at another hospital due to practice pattern variations. The outcomes comparisons presented here might have differed if the NCDB had accounted for such demographic and staging differences in our analyses.

The NCDB tracks the outcomes of 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer in the United States from more than 1,500 commission-accredited cancer programs. It has been collecting data from hospital cancer registries since 1989 and now has almost 30 million records.

Frequently Asked Questions

Data Collection Methodology