As Incidence Rates for Prostate Cancer Decrease, Mortality Rates Also Fall
Jeffrey H. Dover
Often, cancer mortality rates and incidence rates seem to parallel one another. In other words, if one rate is decreasing, the other often decreases as well. This is precisely what recent statistics for prostate cancer indicate. According to the American Cancer Society, rates of incidence for prostate cancer decreased by nearly 2.5 percent each year between 2000 and 2006. Meanwhile, mortality rates from 1994 to 2006 for prostate cancer decreased by over 4 percent every year.
Despite the current downward trends in mortality rate and incidence rate, prostate cancer is still one of the most common forms of cancer in men, and if a doctor fails to diagnose it or diagnoses it too late after it has reached a more advanced stage, the consequences can be deadly.
From 1975 to 1994, mortality rates in prostate cancer either increased or remained level every year. But in the last two decades, the rates have decreased by a fair margin. There are several theories as to why this has occurred, one being that incidences of metastatic prostate cancer have decreased over that time dramatically. This is usually attributed to increased early detection of cancers via prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening. Others suggest that improved treatment of the disease is what was responsible for reversing the trend.
From 1975 to 1992, incidences of prostate cancer increased greatly every year. After stabilizing for five years, rates of incidence began to fall. Some suggest that screening through the PSA blood test led to the rapid increases in incidence rates prior to 1992. There are no definitive reasons as to why these incidence rates have begun to drop in recent times. However, it should be noted that the drop in incidence rates has been primarily noticeable in men over 65, and not in younger men.