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  • Author: Marvin R. Puymon x
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Hyung L. Kim, Marvin R. Puymon, Maochun Qin, Khurshid Guru and James L. Mohler

Prostate cancer can have a long and indolent course, and management without curative therapy should be considered in select patients. When counseling patients, a useful way to convey the risk for death from competing causes is to estimate their lifetime risk for dying from prostate cancer. Double-decrement life tables were constructed to calculate age-specific death rates using the death probabilities from the Social Security Administration life tables and Gleason score–specific mortality rates reported from pre-PSA cohort study. The lifetime risk for prostate cancer death was calculated. Life tables provided life expectancy and risk for prostate cancer death based on age at diagnosis. For example, 60-year-old patient with a Gleason score 6, 7, or 8 tumor had an overall life expectancy of 14.4, 10.2, or 6.6 years, respectively. The risk for prostate cancer death during the expected years of life was 33%, 49%, or 57%, respectively. If a 10-year lead-time bias was assumed for PSA detection, the risks for death from prostate cancer decreased to 16%, 26%, or 37%, respectively. If the patient was in the bottom quartile for overall health and disease was detected by prostate examination, the risk for death from prostate cancer was 21%, 32%, or 40%, respectively. A Web-based tool for performing these calculations is available at Life tables can be created to estimate overall life expectancy and risk for prostate cancer death, and to assist with decision-making when considering management without curative therapy.