Yesterday, The American Cancer Society (ACS) released their annual cancer statistics for the United States. Specific to prostate cancer, they indicated an increase in projected new prostate cancer diagnosis, but a decrease in prostate cancer deaths.

In 2011, the ACS projected 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer; in 2012 they are projecting 241,740 new diagnoses. In 2011 they projected 33,720 prostate cancer-specific deaths; in 2012 they are projecting 28,170 cases of prostate cancer-specific mortality, a decline of 5,550 deaths!

Prostate cancer is projected to remain the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men aside from skin cancer. They also point out that the incidence of prostate cancer is significantly higher in African Americans than in whites, 241 (per 100,000 men) versus 149, respectively, in 2008. Incidence rates for prostate cancer changed substantially between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s probably due to the use of PSA screening. However, since 2004, incidence rates have decreased by 2.7% per year among men 65 years of age and older and have remained stable among men younger than 65 years.

Deaths: Prostate cancer death rates have been decreasing since the early 1990s in both African Americans and whites. Although death rates have decreased more rapidly among African American than white men, rates in African Americans remain more than twice as high as those in whites. Prostate cancer death rates decreased 3.0% per year in white men and 3.5% per year in African American men from 2004 to 2008.

In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer. According to these projections, prostate cancer will account for almost 5% of all cancer deaths (including men and women) in the United States. Given that cancer is the second most com¬mon cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, prostate cancer remains a major public health concern.

.The ACS’s complete projections can be downloaded at:

Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.