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Alarming rise in advanced cases of prostate cancer

Cases of advanced prostate cancer are increasing for the first time in 20 years, according to new data from the American Cancer Society.  Cases have increased by 3 percent per year from 2014 to 2019, with the incidence rate higher among Black men compared with White men.

The leading cause of this overall increase was the diagnosis of advanced cases of disease, which has increased by 4% to 5% annually since 2011. The proportion of men diagnosed with distant-stage disease has doubled in that time frame.

The rise in cases will likely lead to an increase in prostate cancer deaths over time, according to Jeff Michalski, MD, president of the American Society for Radiation Oncology  and a professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Michalski suggested that the report by the American Cancer Society is a signal to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force to update their screening recommendations, which currently recommend against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for men of all ages.

“We must address these shifts in prostate cancer, especially in the Black community, since the incidence of prostate cancer in Black men is 70 percent higher than in White men and prostate cancer mortality rates in Black men are approximately two to four times higher than those in every other racial and ethnic group,” said William Dahut, MD, chief scientific officer at the American Cancer Society.

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