Global Prostate Cancer Diagnosis In Decline, Study Says

Prostate cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer for men. Fortunately, new research indicates that prostate cancer cases are on the decline, both in the United States and around the world.  

The study comes from work done at the World Health Organization, where researchers took data taken from five continents between 1980 and 2012.  The team says the trend is encouraging, particularly in those parts of the world where the rate of prostate cancer diagnoses and deaths have stabilized or decreased.  

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland located under the bladder. It secretes seminal fluid which is what provides nourishment for sperm and initiates its transport. 

Data from the study indicates that prostate cancer is still prolific, as the second most prevalent cause of cancer diagnosis and the sixth most common cause of cancer death among men, globally.  In addition, the study intimates that prostate cancer has led male cancer incidence (new diagnoses) since 2012.   But prostate cancer diagnosis rates still decreased from 2008 to 2012 in at least seven countries, with 33 showing stabilization in these diagnosis rates. Brazil, Lithuania, and Australia led prostate cancers during this time with the highest mortality rate in Caribbean countries like Barbados, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago, and also South Africa, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, 

Thus lead study author MaryBeth Freeman comments, “By comparing rates from different countries, we can assess differences in detection practices and improvements in treatment.” The American Cancer Society senior associate scientist of surveillance research goes on to say, “Previous studies have indicated significant variation in prostate cancer rates, due to factors including detection practices, availability of treatment, and genetic factors.”

Accordingly, Freeman recognizes the scope of this data has some limitations, but she argues that the overall research certainly provides a more complete and comprehensive look at prostate cancer around the world. 

She adds, “Further studies should monitor trends in mortality rates and late-stage disease to assess the impact of reduction in [prostate-specific antigen] testing in several countries.”

The results of this study were presented on Tuesday at the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting, in Atlanta. 

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