Men older than 70 years are more likely than younger men to die from prostate cancer (PCa) at any PSA level, according to a new study.
In a study of 230,081 US veterans, of whom 24,142 (10.5%) died from PCa during a 10-year study period, investigators found that 77.4% of PCa deaths occurred among those diagnosed at age 70 to 89 years.
“The current dogma that older men do not need treatment because of their age and comorbid conditions may need to give more weight both to their life expectancy and PSA level before diagnosis rather than age alone,” F. Roy MacKintosh, MD, of VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno, and colleagues reported online in Frontiers in Oncology.
They noted, for example, that the average life expectancy for a man aged 75 years in the United States is about 12 years. If diagnosed with PCa at age 75 with a PSA of 10 ng/mL, “our results suggest that his risk of prostate cancer-specific death is likely to exceed 33% at his life expectancy, which may justify aggressive treatment.”