Guidelines recommend against treating localized prostate cancer (PCa) in men with a greater than 10-year life expectancy. However, physicians have difficulty accurately estimating life expectancy.
We used data from a population-based observational study to develop a nomogram to estimate long-term other-cause mortality based on self-reported health status (SRHS), race/ethnicity, and age at diagnosis.
This was an observational study.
Men diagnosed with localized PCa from October 1994 through October 1995 participated in the study.
Initial measures obtained 6 months after diagnosis included sociodemographic and tumor characteristics, treatment, and a single item on the SRHS, with response options ranging from excellent to poor. We used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results program data to determine date and cause of death through December 2010. We estimated other-cause mortality with proportional hazards survival analyses, accounting for competing risks.
We evaluated 2,695 men, of whom 74 % underwent aggressive therapy (surgery or radiotherapy). At the initial survey, 18 % reported excellent (E), 36 % very good (VG), 31 % good (G), and 15 % fair/poor (F/P) health. Healthier men were younger, and more likely to be white, better educated, and to undergo surgery. At follow-up, 44 % of the cohort had died; 78 % of deaths were from causes other than PCa. SRHS predicted other-cause mortality; for men reporting E, VG, G, F/P health, the cumulative incidences of other-cause mortality were 20 %, 29 %, 40 %, and 53 %, respectively, p < 0.001. Compared to a reference of excellent SRHS, multivariable hazard ratios (95 % CI) for other-cause mortality for men reporting VG, G, and F/P health were 1.22 (0.97-1.54), 1.73 (1.38-2.17), and 2.71 (2.11-3.48), respectively.
Responses to a one-item SRHS measure were strongly associated with other-cause mortality 15 years after PCa diagnosis. Men reporting fair/poor health had substantial risks for other-cause mortality, suggesting limited benefit for undergoing aggressive treatment. SRHS can be considered in supporting informed decision-making about PCa treatment.