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 Prostate cancer cases to double in 20 years infographic
Graphic shows symptoms of prostate cancer and common treatments.


Prostate cancer cases to double in 20 years

By Phil Bainbridge

April 5, 2024 - The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer – the most common form of male cancer in over 100 countries – is projected to double to 2.9 million per year by 2040, with deaths rising by 85% to 700,000.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include more frequent need to urinate, or difficulty urinating, often at night. However, these are also caused by benign prostate hyperplasia, an enlargement of the prostate common in men over 50. As age is a major factor in the number of people living with prostate cancer, an ageing population and increased life expectancy means there will be an inevitable rise in the number of cases, according to the findings published in The Lancet’s Commission on Prostate Cancer.

The researchers called for new and improved ways of testing for the disease, to reduce overdiagnosis and overtreatment while detecting potentially lethal tumours earlier. High-income countries need to re-evaluate the use of Prostate Specific Antigen blood tests which can result in overdiagnosis of low-risk cancers while also missing some high-risk cancers, and instead spend more on public awareness campaigns and MRI tests for younger men with a family history of the disease, are of African ancestry, or carry a genetic susceptibility. Lower and middle-income countries are advised to prepare for the strain on services that a surge in cases is likely to bring.

PUBLISHED: 05/04/2024; STORY: Graphic News