In round numbers the study selected 50,000 men from a registry. Of those 20,000 died.
A further breakdown noted that 49% of the dead died of PCa and 51% of other causes.
The cohort selected were the 20,000 men that died and not the other 30,000.
The other 30,000 still living with prostate cancer do not enter in the calculation. If they did, then why not include the 370,000 diagnosed with PCa between 1997 and 2007? Then the mortality would be 2.7%.
The authors of the study made the following comments:
Professor Henrik Moller, study author from King's College London and head of analysis and research at the NCIN, said: "Our data show that a high proportion of men with prostate cancer die from the cancer."
Simon Chowdhury, study author and consultant oncologist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This confirms that prostate cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for a large number of men and the importance of ongoing and future research into this area."
Professor Malcolm Mason, a UK prostate cancer expert, said: "This is an extremely important study, which highlights that prostate cancer is not a trivial disease for large numbers of men in the UK who suffer from it. It is important for specialists, and for healthcare planners to realise that, particularly for men with advanced prostate cancer, their disease poses a significant threat to their health and their life, and the old notion that 'most men die with it, not of it' is simply not true for men with advanced disease.
"However, since 1997, many more men are being diagnosed at a much earlier stage, and for these men the outlook is excellent, even without any treatment. This is why the notion of the 'tiger and the *****cat' is a helpful way of understanding the contradictions. Many of the men in this study had the 'tiger' form of the disease, and a significant number died of it. In Europe today, most men who are diagnosed have the '*****cat' form, and will have an excellent outlook. There have also been a number of important advances in treatment over this timeframe, so it is possible that not all of the men in this study who died of prostate cancer, would die of it today with modern treatment."
Unfortunately in the UK they are still not using PSA as it is considered a non-specific cancer marker and men continue to be diagnosed with more advanced disease and die more often. In spite of them above saying that now men are diagnosed with earlier stages, if that were the case, why the PCa mortality rate in the UK in 1997 was 32.6/100K and in 2007 was 33.9%. In the absence of some method of early detection and effectively timed treatment, PCa can have a high death rate.
Disclaimer: I am a long-term prostate cancer survivor. My comments are not intended as medical advice. The intent is to provide information. Seek direct recommendations from your medical team.
Surviving prostate cancer since 1992 at age 58. RP; Orchiectomy; GS (4 + 2); bilateral seminal vesicle invasion; tumor attached to rectal wall; Stage T4; Last PSA September, 2010: <0.1 ng/m