2-One of the best ways, therefore, that we can help support each other, and the newcomers who enter our site on a daily basis, is to share the statistical results, summaries and publications of the professionals who are the recognized experts in the profession.
Let me quote some statistics from the National Cancer Institute's SEER database. These are overall population statistics and are not "messaged" by anyone:
1. I pick the 1975 survival statistics because it is before the discovery of PSA testing. In 1975, the 5 year relative survival rate for prostate cancer diagnosed was 66%. I next pick 2001-2007 because this period is with PSA testing in full swing and before the USPSTF pushed for no PSA testing. In this 2001-07 period the 5 year relative survival for those diagnosed was 99.6% (2006). To me a major part of the improved survival must be due to early detection and not just because of new medications because of the following:
2. What is more telling is that in 2001-07, if your cancer is early stage (localized or regional) your 5 year relative survival is 100% but if your were diagnosed too late (metastasized) your 5 year relative survival is only 28%! Fortunately, only 4% of those diagnosed were metastasized and most were organ confined. Clearly, all the wonderful modern medications are not doing much to those poor patients that were diagnosed too late.
3. What about
life saved due to early detection and better treatments? Let's look at the normalized death rate: Death per 100,000. In 1975 the rate was 31 per 100,000 by 2001-07 it was 21 per 100,000 a drop of 10 per 100,000 or 30%. A simple extrapolation of number of new death if PSA stops and we are back to 1975: There will be ~10,000 more death from prostate cancer every year. If we go back, a 5 year survival of 66% prostate cancer is about
the same as colon cancer and more deathly than bladder cancer, endometrial cancer,kidney cancer, melanoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, thyroid cancer... The only thing worst are lung, pancreas and leukemia.
4. I am not saying there are no over treatment and that the side effects are sometimes very bad but clearly PSA has value and should not be stopped like what the USPSTF said and some "over treatment" clearly are not over treatment. Even on a personal note, I was told I could be a good candidate for AS since I only had one core 5% G6 and the urologist believed most of my PSA were due to an enlarged prostate. I am happy I chose to be treated as post op pathology showed Grade 4 cancer and cancer was extensive.