Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Causes of Death During Prostate Cancer Survivorship: Population-Based Analyses

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Adam B. Weiner, MD, of Northwestern University, Chicago, and colleagues analyzed the causes of death in contemporary survivors of prostate cancer to better understand survivorship management. Presented as part of the Best of Prostate Cancer during the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO), the investigators discovered that the risk of death for causes not related to prostate cancer seemed to be higher in patients who had prostate cancer than in the general public.

This population-based study examined 752,092 men with prostate cancer, including 27% who died. Data on these patients were pulled from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database and were compared with data from the general population. The cause of death was stratified by the time following diagnosis, patient demographics, and tumor stage.

Most deaths among men with local or regional disease occurred between 5 and 10 years after diagnosis. Although 17% of patients died of prostate cancer, 83% died of other causes not related to prostate cancer. The standard mortality ratio for death from non-cancer–related causes was 0.77, which implied that these patients were less likely than the general population to die of most other ailments.

Cardiac-related deaths were among the most common causes of death unrelated to cancer, occurring in 23% of analyzed individuals. Mortality within 5 years of diagnosis occurred in 90% of patients with distant prostate cancer. Standard mortality ratios suggest that patients with prostate cancer have a higher risk of death from causes unrelated to cancer, despite 74% of deaths being caused by prostate cancer. Although the causes of death varied greatly due to patient demographics, the risks of suicide and cardiac-related deaths were elevated in these men, with standard mortality ratios of 2.32 and 2.48, respectively.

Disclosure: No disclosure information was provided for the study authors.

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