Although the overall risk of dying from cancer has declined by approximately 20% over the past 20 years, prostate cancer (PCa) continues to be one of the most common causes of cancer death, according to a new annual report from the American Cancer Society. Along with lung, colon, and breast cancers, PCa contributes to nearly half of total cancer deaths.

Cancer Statistics 2014, compiled by Rebecca Siegel, MPH, of the American Cancer Society, and colleagues on behalf of the organization and published by CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, includes the projection that 1,665,540 new cases of cancer and 585,720 deaths due to cancer will occur in 2014. This includes an estimated 338,450 new cases of cancer of the genital system and an estimated 58,970 deaths, as well as an estimated 141,610 new urinary-system cancers and 30,350 projected deaths.

  • Among men, cancers of the prostate, lung and bronchus, and colorectum will account for approximately 50% of all new cancer diagnoses in 2014
  • PCa alone will account for 27% (233,000) of incident cancer cases in men. Incidence rates range widely throughout the United States, from 112.7 in Arizona to 194.4 in Washington, DC, probably due to differences in prevalence of prostate-specific antigen testing among states and racial distribution
  • Death rates from PCa are down 45% from peak rates because of improvements in early detection and treatment, but 29,480 men are projected to die from PCa in 2014
  • A projected 8,820 new cancers related to the testis and 1,640 cases of penile or other male genital cancer are expected to occur, as are 380 related and 320 related deaths, respectively
  • New urinary bladder cancers are expected to strike 56,390 men and 18,300 women this year, with 11,170 men and 4,410 women dying of same. Five-year survival rates are 17 percentage points lower for blacks than for whites with urinary bladder cancer
  • An estimated 39,140 men and 24,780 women will be afflicted with cancers of the kidney and renal pelvis in 2014; these diseases will be responsible for the deaths of approximately 8,900 men and 4,960 women in 2014
  • In contrast to the stable or declining trends for most cancer types, incidence rates are rising for some cancers, including cancers of the kidney
  • About 1,890 men and 1,110 women are expected to receive a diagnosis of cancer of the ureter or other urinary organs, with an estimated 540 men and 370 women succumbing to those diseases this year

The authors of the report note that the overall cancer incidence rate is 23% lower among women compared with men. However, during the past five years for which there are data (2006–2010), the incidence rate remained stable among females while falling by 0.6% per year among males, with the decline partly attributable to the rapid declines in prostate cancer (2.0% per year).

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“Prostate cancer incidence rates have been generally declining since around 2000, although rates have fluctuated widely from year to year, likely reflecting variation in the prevalence of prostate-specific antigen testing for the detection of prostate cancer,” Siegel and her associates wrote.