"prostate cancer is one of the most common, and least lethal of all cancers...period."
This is very true for lower end Gleason scores(G6 and 7 (3+4). ... Us 9 and 10 account for the vast majority of deaths every year.
Let’s put it this way: survival of those diagnosed with prostate cancer is stunningly different—stunningly better—than survival of many other cancers. Most would contend that this is even true when considering only the high-risk PC cases (ref. alphanull’s self-reflective musing focused on “Us [GS] 9 and 10...”).
[GS, btw beaverduck, stands for Gleason Score, which is the primary measurement (with a confusing, unbalanced scale) of aggressiveness coming from a prostate biopsy. GS 9 & 10 are high-risk cases; GS 10 is the highest possible. Oddly, GS 6 is the lowest possible score.]
Start with a very broad perspective. In the US, in the most recent period reported by the American Cancer Society, here’s a few selected 5-year survival rates (all cases):
-Pancreatic cancer = 9% survival; pancreatic cancer is, however, relatively rare
-Lung cancer = 20% survival; lung cancer rates of diagnosis are similar to prostate cancer
-Prostate cancer = 99%
Drilling-down, alphanull reports that survival is lower amongst the advanced PC cases. This is technically true (and obvious), but advanced PC cases are not common
…and are rare amongst those under age 60. Numerous studies have reported Gleason Score stratification according to age at diagnosis. Here’s the survival rate results of one recent report (LINK):
-Age LE 60: 96.7% GS <8…so, only 3.2% of all new PC cases for those under age 60 are diagnosed GS 8, 9 or 10. Here’s the rest of the data:
-Age 61-70: 88.1% GS <8
-Age 71-75: 82.2% GS <8
-Age 76-80: 62.5% GS <8
Drilling-down even further into the mortality of high-risk cases only (which is the very limited subset that alphanull is talking about
), again numerous studies are available with roughly similar (not identical) reported results. Outcomes can vary widely as a result of MANY FACTORS BESIDES GLEASON SCORE (such as clinical stage, initial PSA, etc., and to a minor extent (probably surprising, to some) treatment mode). But looking at the Gleason 9 & 10 cases as a whole, 10-year cancer-specific mortality rates (in this recent report, LINK) varied only between 4.4% and 8.8%...in other words, 10-year PC survival for the high-risk GS 9 & 10 cases was greater than 90%. That doesn’t mean nobody dies of PC, but at 90% in 10-years, even high-risk PC stacks up very favorably against just about any other cancer survival rate
So alphanull’s comments quoted above may be technically and narrowly correct, but it obfuscates the meaningful big picture for the original poster…a newcomer in his 40s (not even diagnosed, yet) who is just trying to learn/understand the big picture. This site is at its best when we put ourselves in the shoes of the newcomers.
Based on data, I stand firmly behind the original big picture rule of thumb for our new friend beaverduck: prostate cancer is one of the most common, and least lethal of all cancers...period.
Post Edited (Blackjack) : 1/14/2019 3:32:49 PM (GMT-7)