Peter Mac News


World urged to prepare for doubling of prostate cancer diagnoses

05 April 2024

The number of prostate cancers diagnosed globally will more than double – rising to 2.9 million diagnoses each year – by 2040, according to a special report authored by international experts including two from Peter Mac.

The Lancet Commission on Prostate Cancer is published online by The Lancet today and on Saturday will be formally unveiled in Paris at the annual scientific meeting of the European Association of Urology.

The report calls for the world to prepare for a surge in prostate cancer cases attributed to an ageing global population, placing more men in the middle and older age categories at-risk of this cancer.

Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) will have the highest increases in prostate cancer diagnoses and mortality, according to the report whose authors include Peter Mac’s Professor Michael Hofman and Professor Declan Murphy.

“This is a wake-up call for the healthcare sector, policy makers and broader community that the global burden of prostate cancer, already the most common cancer in men, will rise considerably over the next 15 years,” says Professor Hofman.

Professor Murphy, who will attend the Paris launch, adds: “While this burden will fall disproportionately in low and middle-income countries, high-income countries like Australia need to help drive the global response and a renewed focus on earlier diagnosis.”

The report warns late diagnosis was widespread globally and the norm in LMICs, where new systems and outreach programs were urgently needed to address this.

In high-income countries (HICs), there was a strengthening case to introduce screening for all men aged 50 to 70 years (and from 45 to 70 years for men of African heritage who have increased risk).

The report says the current reliance on informed-choice PSA testing in HICs resulted in “over-testing in older men and under-testing in younger men at high risk” meanwhile “too many men still present with advanced disease, especially from socioeconomically deprived backgrounds”.

The report also highlights recent advancements in imaging and treatment, citing Peter Mac’s ProPSMA study which showed a 27% change in management when PSMA PET/CT was performed in men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer.

PSMA theranostics - a novel treatment approach using liquid radiation, and which is also being developed at Peter Mac - has also proved an effective new option for men with advanced metastatic disease.

Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men in 112 countries - including the regions of North America, southern Africa, northern and western Europe, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.

New prostate cancer diagnoses globally were forecast to rise from 1.4 million a year in 2020 to 2.9 million a year by 2040 while prostate cancer deaths globally would rise 85% from 375,000 a year to almost 700,000 a year.

Read the “Lancet Commission on Prostate Cancer: planning for the surge in cases” report online.