Prostate cancer deaths down, number of cases up

February 1, 2007

Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer apparently have lived up to their potential. The annual statistical report of the American Cancer Society reports that deaths in the United States from the four leading types of cancer-including prostate cancer-have decreased for the second consecutive year.

Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer apparently have lived up to their potential. The annual statistical report of the American Cancer Society reports that deaths in the United States from the four leading types of cancer-including prostate cancer-have decreased for the second consecutive year.

Deaths from prostate cancer, which accounts for 29% of all cancers in men, fell by 5.5% in 2004; overall, deaths from prostate cancer fell by 31.12% between 1990 and 2003. The report was published recently in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians (2007; 57:43-66) and in Cancer Facts & Figures 2007 (56th ed.).

“The hard work toward preventing cancer, catching it early, and making treatment more effective is paying dramatic, lifesaving dividends. Thirteen years of continuing drops in the overall cancer death rate have now overtaken trends in aging and growth of the U.S. population, resulting in decreased numbers of deaths,” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, of the American Cancer Society.

While the number of prostate cancer deaths overall has decreased, the number of cases diagnosed will likely increase as the population ages, experts say. Newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer are expected to reach 219,000 in 2007; 27,000 deaths are expected.

Over a lifetime, one in every six men will likely develop prostate cancer, according to the report. In 2004, prostate cancer was the third leading cause of death from cancer in men between 60 and 79 years of age; it was the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men over age 80. In African-American men, the fatality rate is about triple that of Caucasian men.

An estimated 50,000 new cases of bladder cancer in men are projected in 2007 and 9,600 deaths. New cases of kidney and renal pelvic cancers are estimated at 31,600 in men and 19,600 in women.