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Acta Oncol. 2010 Jun;49(5):644-54. doi: 10.3109/02841860903575315.

Trends in survival of patients diagnosed with male genital cancers in the Nordic countries 1964-2003 followed up until the end of 2006.

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  • 1Department of Clinical- and Registry-based Research, Cancer Registry of Norway, Majorsteuen, Oslo, Norway.



Prostate, testicular and penile cancer constitute about one-third of the cancer incidence burden among Nordic males, but less than one-fifth of the corresponding mortality. The aim of this study is to describe and interpret trends in relative survival and excess mortality in the five Nordic populations.


Age-standardised incidence and mortality rates, 5-year relative survival, and excess mortality rates for varying follow-up periods are presented, as are age-specific 5-year relative survival by country, sex and 5-year diagnostic period.


The vast majority of male genital cancer incident cases and deaths are prostate cancers, with 5-year and 10-year survival trends resembling the diagnostic-led increasing incidence over the past 25 years. Five-year prostate cancer survival is estimated at 53% in Denmark compared to 78% or above in the other Nordic populations for patients diagnosed 1999-2003. Excess mortality has declined over time, with Denmark having a greater excess of deaths compared to the other countries, irrespective of time of diagnosis. Concomitant with the declines in testicular cancer mortality, testicular cancer survival has increased since the 1970s in each Nordic country. Men diagnosed with testicular cancer in recent decades have had, on average, a continually better prognosis with time, with relative 5-year survival for patients diagnosed 1999-2003 ranging from 88% in Finland to 94% in Sweden. For the few patients diagnosed with cancer of the penis and other male genital organs, survival trends have been rather stable over time, with recent 5-year relative survival estimates ranging from 62% in Finland to 80% in Norway.


There are intriguing country-specific and temporal variations in male genital cancer survival in the Nordic countries. Prognosis varies widely by cancer site and relates to both changing diagnostic and clinical practices. The increasing PSA detection and biopsy makes interpretation of the prostate cancer survival trends particularly difficult.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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