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prostate cancer research statistics

About prostate cancer data

The latest statistics available for prostate cancer in the UK are; incidence 2015, mortality 2016 and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age).

The ICD code Open a glossary item for prostate cancer is ICD-10 C61.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2012.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages Open a glossary item and co-morbidities Open a glossary item. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited on this page where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies Open a glossary item are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2012-2013. Staging proportions only include patients with a known stage (cases with an unknown stage at diagnosis are not included in the denominator).

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Prostate cancer is part of the group ‘Urological cancer’ for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: penis, prostate, testis, other and unspecified male genital organs, kidney, renal pelvis, ureter, bladder, other and unspecified urinary organs, secondary cancers of kidney, renal pelvis, bladder and other unspecified urinary organs.

Cancer surgical resection rates data is for patients diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2010.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for three time periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 and for mortality for two time periods: 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. The 1997-2001 mortality data were only used for the all cancers combined group as this time period includes the change in coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.

See also

Data sources and timings – why are these the latest statistics?

Information and explanations on terminology used for statistics

More on staging data

Our calculations explained

Information for patients

Last reviewed:

Statistics by cancer type

Statistics for all cancers combined





Diagnosis and Treatment

Local Cancer Statistics

Local level cancer statistics; searchable by a local area or constituency in England.

Go to local cancer statistics

Interested in an overview for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?

Go to devolved nations overviews

Cancer stats explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

Cancer stats explained


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Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer now kills more people than breast cancer, UK figures reveal

Male illness now third most common cause of cancer death behind lung and bowel


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Light micrograph showing prostate cancer

Prostate cancer killed 11,819 men in the UK in 2015.
Photograph: Steve Gschmeissner/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Prostate cancer has become the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, overtaking breast cancer, despite improvements in survival rates for both.

The top cancer killer in the UK is lung cancer, which claimed 35,486 lives in 2015, followed by colorectal cancer, with a toll of 16,067 people.

However, new figures reveal that 11,819 men died in the UK from prostate cancer in 2015, overtaking breast cancer, which resulted in the deaths of 11,442 women. While not included in the data, about 80 men are also thought to have died from breast cancer in 2015.

Prostate cancer blood test could transform treatment, say scientists

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Angela Culhane, chief executive of the charity Prostate Cancer UK which collated the figures, said the number of prostate cancer deaths had risen as a result of an ageing population, while improvements in research and screening meant the same effect was not seen for breast cancer.

“We haven’t yet got the big game-changing advances that breast cancer has had in terms of the screening programme and also the precision medicine developments,” said Culhane, adding that breast cancer had received twice as much money for research as prostate cancer. “We need to bust that myth that it is just an old man’s disease that you don’t need to think is significant,” she added.

According to the charity, while 72,513 pieces of research had been published on prostate cancer since 1999, more than 146,000 had been published on breast cancer. Meanwhile, Prostate Cancer UK estimates that £120m is needed for research over the next eight years to halve the number of prostate cancer deaths expected by 2026.

“We want to learn from what they have been able to achieve [for breast cancer] and we can see the correlation between that investment in research and the progress that then follows in terms of reducing the number of deaths,” said Culhane.

Increased risk of 11 types of cancer linked to being overweight, researchers warn

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But despite the rise in the number of prostate cancer deaths, the bigger picture was positive, said Culhane. “If you compare to 10, 20 years ago, survival rates are generally getting better, that is certainly the case for both prostate and breast [cancer].”

Michael Chapman, director of information and involvement at Cancer Research UK, agreed. “The number of men getting and dying from prostate cancer is increasing mostly because of population growth and because we are living longer,” he said. “If we take into account our growing and ageing population, the death rate for both breast and prostate cancer is falling, though it is falling faster for breast than prostate cancer.”

Roger Wotton, chairman of Tackle Prostate Cancer, said. “This is a wake-up call for men and for the health service. Women have screening for breast cancer and this is one reason why mortality rates for prostate cancer are now higher than those for breast cancer. We need to get the prostate cancer mortality figures down, particularly as one third of men diagnosed already have advanced prostate cancer. We need earlier diagnosis and a better-informed testing regime.”


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