Recently, the Lancet Commission paper predicts that prostate cancer incidence in India to surge sharply by 2040.

Key Findings

  • to projections from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, incorporated by Lancet in its analysis, the incidence of prostate cancer in India is anticipated to double to approximately 71,000 new cases annually by 2040. 
  • Prostate cancer currently comprises three percent of all cancer cases in India, with an estimated 33,000-42,000 new diagnoses each year.
  • In India, a significant number of patients are diagnosed with cancer at advanced stages, leading to approximately 65% (18,000-20,000) of patients dying of their disease.
  • It projects a global increase in prostate cancer cases from 1.4 million per year in 2020 to 2.9 million per year by 2040, with the greatest rise expected in low and middle-income countries. 
  • Prostate cancer accounted for approximately 375,000 deaths globally in 2020, ranking it as the fifth leading cause of cancer death among men.

Prostate Cancer

  • Prostate cancer is a disease that occurs when cells in the prostate gland grow out of control. 
  • The prostate gland in the male reproductive system produces fluid that is part of semen.
  • It’s located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. 
  • The prostate tends to grow as a man ages, and in younger men, it’s about the size of a walnut, but it can be much larger in older men.

Types of prostate cancer

• Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas. These cancers develop from the gland cells in the prostate (the cells that make the prostate fluid that is added to the semen).

• Other types of cancer that can start in the prostate include:

  • Small cell carcinoma (small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma)
  • Other neuroendocrine tumors (including large cell carcinoma)
  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Sarcomas

Factors which leading to the Growth of Prostate Cancer Cases in India

  • Factors such as aging populations and longer life expectancies are expected to result in a larger demographic of older men in the future. 
  • Additionally, widespread corporate health screenings, which often include Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) tests contribute to the increasing numbers.
  • It emphasizes that age and genetics are primary risk factors exacerbated by lifestyle choices such as smoking, obesity, and poor diet.
  • Prostate cancer often manifests without symptoms in its early stages, with symptoms typically emerging in advanced stages, such as difficulty urinating, bone pain, or blood in the semen or urine. 

Measures need to be taken 

• As per the experts this surge can be prevented by implementing rigorous early testing protocol.

• Early detection and education programs need to emphasized for men over 60, akin to breast cancer screenings recommended for women over 40.

• Older men experiencing symptoms like frequent urination, weak urine stream, or urinary pain should seek medical advice and undergo a PSA blood test, which is both simple and affordable and widely accessible even in smaller towns.

• It is also recommended by specialists to incorporate digital rectal examinations into screening protocols. 

• The World Health Organization recommends one megavoltage radiotherapy unit per million people. 

  • To meet this guideline, India would need approximately 600 additional units to ensure adequate treatment for the 800,000 individuals requiring radiotherapy for cancer annually.

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