Causes of death during prostate cancer (PCa) survivorship vary by patient and tumor characteristics, but among men with local or regional disease, non-PCa causes of death occur 4-fold more frequently than death from PCa, investigators revealed at SUO 2020, the virtual meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology.

In the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database 2000-2016, a total of 752,092 men had PCa, including 200,302 (27%) who died. Among men with local or regional disease, most deaths occurred within 5 to 10 years (38%) after diagnosis. The vast majority of these patients (83%) died from causes other than PCa, whereas only 17% died from PCa. Yet, according to standardized mortality ratios, patients with localized PCa were 23% less likely than the general population to die from most other causes, Adam B. Weiner, MD, of Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, reported. The most common noncancer causes of death were cardiac- and pulmonary-related.

The vast majority of patients with distant PCa (90%) died within 5 years of diagnosis. PCa was the cause of death in 74%. According to standardized mortality ratios, however, these patients still had a 50% higher risk of death from most other non-cancer causes, Dr Weiner reported. Men with distant disease were at especially high risk for suicide and cardiac-related deaths. Other causes of death varied substantially by patient demographics.

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“These data provide valuable information regarding healthcare prioritization during PCa survivorship,”Dr Weiner and colleagues concluded.


Weiner AB, Li EV, Desai AS, Press DJ, Schaeffer. Cause of death during prostate cancer survivorship: a contemporary US population-based analysis. Presented at: SUO 2020, December 3-5, 2020.