Prostate cancer patients overall face a 27-percent probability of developing metastatic
disease within seven years of initial diagnosis, according to new research by investigators at UC Davis
Cancer Center and five other institutions nationwide. In addition, men with metastatic cancer have a tenfold
greater risk of death compared to those whose cancer is confined to the prostate gland. And their medical
bills are almost twice as high.
The research, presented at the 2003 annual meeting of the American Urological Association, analyzed the
medical charts of 2,056 prostate cancer patients treated at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit between
1995 and 2000. Patients with metastatic disease had 10 times the death rate of those with localized disease.
In a separate analysis, the researchers examined the same charts to assess economic burden. They found
that compared to patients with localized prostate cancer, patients with metastatic disease incur $13,650
more in health-care expenses per year.