Prostate cancer (PCa) death rates continue to decline in the United States, according to an online report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The PCa death rate decreased an average of 3.2% annually from 2005 to 2009, according to the report. Data show that death rates continue to decline for all cancers combined for men and women of all major racial and ethnic groups and for most major cancer sites. The report, prepared by Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, of the American Cancer Society (ACS), noted that the death rates for men and women combined decreased by 1.6% per year from 2005 to 2009.

The report is compiled by the ACS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

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The death rate from urinary bladder cancer during this same period did not change for men but decreased by 0.4% per year among women. The death rate from kidney cancer decreased 0.4% per year for men and 0.9% per year for women.

Death rates continue to increase for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and uterus, and for melanoma (men only).

The incidence rates for prostate and bladder cancer declined from 2005 to 2009, but the rates for kidney cancer increased. The increase in kidney cancer rates “is thought to reflect, in part, increased diagnosis because of wider application of imaging techniques as well as the obesity epidemic,” the report noted.