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Diagnosis: The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will double

Diagnosis: The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will double

The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will double by 2040 to 2.9 million annually worldwide. This is what an international group of experts wrote in a comprehensive analysis Which was published on Thursday In the scientific medical journal The scalpel. The results will be presented and further clarified this weekend at a major European conference of urologists in Paris.

The expected increase in the number of cases is accompanied by an increase in the life expectancy of the world population. Experts warn that the increasing burden of the disease may become a problem, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Diagnosis is already made relatively late there, meaning that the majority of patients in these countries are incurable.

With more older men to come, this means a greater influx of patients. This has become acute as there is also a shortage of radiotherapists and urologists in these countries. Therefore, detection and treatment options need urgent improvement. Experts estimate that the number of deaths due to prostate cancer worldwide will rise from 375,000 cases in 2020 to nearly 700,000 cases in 2040, an increase of 85 percent.

“It will be difficult to turn things around,” says urologist Harm van Mieleck, who also attended the conference in Paris. “You can't solve this problem simply through lifestyle changes. Whether you'll get prostate cancer is actually determined from the cradle, with the risk increasing as you get older.

In the Netherlands and most other Western countries, there has already been a significant increase in the number of prostate cancer cases, driven by demographic developments and improved diagnostic methods. As a medical advisor to the Integrated Cancer Center Netherlands (IKNL), van Mieleck contributed to the preparation of a future report for the Netherlands, which includes up to 2032 Only a slight increase in the number of prostate cancer diagnoses is expected.

At the global level, the situation is very different. Until now, scientific research on prostate cancer has focused mainly on men of European descent, while the risk of developing this type of cancer is twice as high as men of African descent. Researchers say more research is urgently needed to determine the reasons for these racial differences in disease burden The scalpel.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men in the Netherlands. Last year, 14,562 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. The vast majority (92%) were 60 years or older at the time. Of all patients, 36% were 75 years or older. On average, this older group of patients has lower survival than younger patients, which cannot be fully explained by how advanced the cancer has already been.

If the tumor is detected early, it can usually be treated well. If prostate cancer has spread to lymph nodes, bones, or other tissues, the prognosis is less favorable. In this group, nearly half die within five years of diagnosis. Van Mileck: “It is therefore not surprising that there are increasing voices in Europe in favor of introducing population-based screening for prostate cancer.”