Monday, March 10, 2008

Prostate cancer forecasts for 2008

Prostate cancer will continue to be the leading type of cancer diagnosed among men in 2008 and will rank second, behind lung cancer, as the most deadly for men.

The forecasts are in the 2008 Cancer Facts and Figures Guide published by the American Cancer Society.

The success of detecting prostate cancer through the use of PSA tests, biopsies and digital rectal exams is probably the reason that one-quarter of all cancers detected in men are in the prostate. The rate was higher from 1988 to 1992, when the PSA tests first came into common use.

The American Cancer Society expects 186,320 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and 28,660 will die from it.

Like they always say, early detection is often the key to survival.

About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetimes; nearly half of all men will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

The report finds that the rate of prostate cancer is significantly higher among African-American men; the death rate from prostate cancer is nearly double in African-Americans.

As bad as those rates are, prostate cancer has the highest potential for survival over five years. According to the stats, 98.4% of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer survive for at least five years. Before PSA tests came into use, the rate of survival after diagnosis for prostate cancer was only 69% in 1975-1977 and 76% in 1984-1986.

Relatively high survival rates are posted for cancer of the thyroid (96.7%), testes (95.4%) and melanoma (91.1%). Breast cancer has a 88.6% survival rate for 5 years.

The relative success in treating prostate cancer in its early stages is probably the reason why the American Cancer Society recommends annual PSAs and digital rectal exams in more over 50; age 45 for African-American males and men with a family history of the disease.

Don't be like the men in this UK study, which found that 1 in 5 were too "scared" to see the general practitioner regarding prostate problems and 16% feared a rectal exam.

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