Prostate cancer cases to be double in 20 years

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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer cases are expected to be double, while deaths are expected to increase by 85 per cent between 2020 and 2040, according to The Lancet Commission on prostate cancer. The low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to bear the ‘overwhelming brunt’ of this spike.

Globally, the study estimated yearly cases of prostate cancer to be 14 lakhs and yearly deaths due to the disease to stand at 3.75 lakh in 2020. The prostate cancer cases are projected to rise to 29 lakh a year and almost seven lakh prostate cancer deaths a year by 2040. The surge in cases is “inevitable”, with actual numbers likely to be much higher because of under-diagnosis and missed opportunities for data collection in LMICs, researchers said.

The researchers have said that ageing populations and improving life expectancy will lead to more cases of prostate cancer in older men, and given that being 50 years or older is a risk factor, lifestyle changes and public health interventions may not be able to prevent the upcoming surge.

“As more and more men around the world live to middle and old age, there will be an inevitable rise in the number of prostate cancer cases. We know this surge in cases is coming, so we need to start planning and take action now,” said lead author of the commission, Nick James, professor of prostate and bladder cancer research at The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

The commission has called for evidence-based interventions, including early detection and diagnosis, along with education and awareness programmes, to help save lives from prostate cancer in the coming years.

“One of the common pains in prostate cancer comes from spine metastasis, where the cancer spreads to the spine. While this usually presents in the later stages of the disease, it could even be the presenting symptom. Other pains may be associated with urination or treatment, such as post-surgical or chemotherapy-induced pain,” said pain specialist Dr Lakshmi Vas, director of the Ashirvad Institute for Pain Management and Research, Mumbai.