A recent study showed that between the years 2011 and 2013 there was a significant increase in high-risk cases of prostate cancer. Results were presented during the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in Orlando.
About 87,500 men who received treatment for prostate cancer since 2005 were analyzed in the study, with researchers finding a significant increase in the amount of higher-risk cases of prostate cancers between that specific period of time. A thorough analysis of these patients’ data showed that the percentage of men diagnosed with both intermediate or high-risk disease increased about 6 units in that period.
Until now a mortality increase has not been observed, however, researchers estimate that this apparent trend might result in an additional 1,400 prostate cancer deaths per year (supported by the 2014 estimated number of new prostate cancer cases plus the relative survival of patients with low and high-risk cancers). The authors emphasize that these results must be confirmed with additional research studies.
Charles Ryan, ASCO Expert, stated in a press release: “This study, while preliminary, adds new insight to the ongoing debate on the risks and benefits of PSA screening for prostate cancer. These findings alone do not warrant changes in physician practice, but they do suggest that men should continue to be encouraged to talk with their doctors about screening to decide whether it is appropriate for them.”
Between 2005 and 2011, the amount of men with intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer decreased gradually. However, between the period of 2011 and 2013 those numbers increased 3 percent per year. These estimates take into account the different 10-year survival rates associated with prostate cancer: about 95% for low-risk disease, 75 to 90% for intermediate, and 60-80% for high-risk disease.
“Our study is the first to measure the changes in prostate cancer presentation in the period following the US Preventive Services Task Force’s PSA screening recommendations. Given the rise in intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancers seen in our analysis during this timeframe, men who are at increased risk for prostate cancer, especially those with a family history of prostate cancer, should consider talking with their doctor about PSA screening,” concluded study author Dr. Timothy E. Schultheiss.