As Prostate Cancer Screenings Have Decreased; Advanced Cancers Have Skyrocketed

Study shows 72% increase in metastatic prostate cancer cases in the past decade

A dramatic rise in advanced prostate cancer has been reported by a Northwestern Medical study published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, July 19, 2016, a Nature journal.

The study shows a 72% increase in new cases of metastatic prostate cancer in the past decade from 2004 to 2013. The study discusses two possible causes for the increase — a recent trend of fewer men being screened and that the disease has become more aggressive.

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“One hypothesis is the disease has become more aggressive, regardless of the change in screening,” said senior study author Dr. Edward Schaeffer, chair of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine. “The other idea is since screening guidelines have become more lax, when men do get diagnosed, it’s at a more advanced stage of disease. Probably both are true. We don’t know for sure but this is the focus of our current work.“

“The results indicate that screening guidelines and treatment need to be refined based on individual patient risk factors and genetics,” said lead author Dr. Adam Weiner, a Feinberg urology resident. “This may help prevent the growing occurrence of metastatic prostate cancer and potential deaths associated with the disease. This also can help minimize overdiagnosing and overtreating men with low-risk prostate cancer who do not need treatment.”

“Prostate cancer is 100 percent treatable if detected early, but some men are more likely to develop aggressive disease that will recur, progress and metastasize,” said Dr. Jonathan W. Simons, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

“Not all men with prostate cancer need immediate surgery or radiation. But every case needs precision prostate cancer care. We urgently need smarter and more targeted cancer screening, so we don't leave men at highest cancer risk unprotected from early, curable disease being missed and turning into incurable disease,” said Simons.

Link to the study:  Increasing incidence of metastatic prostate cancer in the United States (2004–2013)

Northwestern News Service: Metastatic Prostate Cancer Cases Skyrocket

Failure to Screen for Prostate Cancer

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