Dr. Weiner on 2024 ACS prostate cancer data

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“The American Cancer Society suspects that over 300,000 men will be newly diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, which is still a lot,” says Adam B. Weiner, MD.

In this video, Adam B. Weiner, MD, shares data from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics, 2024 report that are particularly relevant for urologists. Weiner is a urologic oncology fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Video Transcript:

Could you touch on key data in urology from the 2024 Cancer Statistics report?

The American Cancer Society publishes cancer statistics at the beginning of every year to estimate annual rates and deaths from cancer. It's one of the biggest publications in cancer every single year in the US. This year was a big year, many things to celebrate, many things to think about. The Cancer Society estimates that 4 million lives have been spared from cancer deaths as a result of advances in screening and treatment and reductions in smoking, which is just absolutely amazing. We're all very happy to hear that. They do suspect that this is the first year that there are going to be over 2 million diagnoses of cancer in the US, which is the most in any other year.

When I think about things that I'm focusing on as a urologist, I'm still focusing on some of the things that we're thinking about in prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is still the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men. The American Cancer Society suspects that over 300,000 men will be newly diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, which is still a lot. There have been also interesting changes in the epidemiology of prostate cancer. Since changes in recommendations related to screening for prostate cancer in 2008 and 2012, there have been declines in the number of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but that has subsequently increased. Some of those changes are related to diagnoses in late-stage prostate cancer. We're still working to find that sweet spot of screening but not over-detecting too much prostate cancer and then exposing men to overtreatment. That continues to be a major question for urology and urologic oncology.

One of the most interesting discoveries in prostate cancer and epidemiology incidence and deaths from prostate cancer is that the screening rates are too low for men in the appropriate age range. They estimate only about 1 in 3 men above the age of 50 are being appropriately screened. The other major issue that we're constantly thinking about is that that rate of screening is probably even lower for Black men in the United States. That's a big problem, because it's estimated that Black men have about twice as high of a likelihood of dying from prostate cancer in their lifetime compared to White men. That being said, overall, about 1 in 8 men in the US have the likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer in their entire lifetime overall. So, this is a major issue, not only for Black men, but for all men in the United States.

What are some takeaways from this report for urologists, oncologists, and other physicians?

When I think about the advancements that we've made in genitourinary cancer care, I think it does start with the primary care physicians and being informed on the appropriate ages for screening and contextualizing care for patients who may be a high likelihood of getting one of these cancers. I think one major step that I see to improve care as a group of urologists or oncologists or radiation oncologists is continuing to stay informed on the latest treatments for patients. There's no doubt that we're having a major impact on the lifespan for these patients, where quite a high number of them are being diagnosed with the cancers that we care [for]. I think as long as as a group and as a society we continue to stay up on the most up-to-date treatment and appropriate care for those patients, that's how we're connect continue to impact the most lives.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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