Projections Indicate Potential Doubling of Prostate Cancer Cases in the Next Two Decades

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The global incidence of prostate cancer is projected to more than double in the coming two decades, with less affluent nations experiencing an increase as they undergo similar aging processes to wealthier countries, a Lancet report released on Thursday indicates.

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According to the medical journal’s analysis, based on demographic shifts, “We anticipate that the annual number of new cases will jump from 1.4 million in 2020 to 2.9 million by 2040.”

The study attributes this surge to longer life spans and the evolving global age distribution.

Prostate cancer ranks as the most common cancer among men, representing around 15 percent of cancer cases. Its prevalence rises with age, particularly after 50.

With life expectancy on the rise in developing nations, so too are the instances of prostate cancer, note the researchers.

They emphasized that unlike lung cancer or heart disease, where public health strategies can play a significant role in curtailing cases, the dynamics of prostate cancer are less amenable to such interventions.

Factors such as heredity, which play a significant role in prostate cancer risk, are harder to manage compared to controllable risk factors like smoking in lung cancer. While obesity has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, it remains unclear if it is a direct cause.

The researchers further highlighted the need for health systems in developing countries to promote early screening, as prostate cancer diagnoses often occur too late for effective treatment to be administered.

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