Metastatic Prostate Cancer on the Rise in the United States

A recent study, published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, documents a decade-long increase in the number of men who have incurable prostate cancer at their initial diagnosis, an ominous finding that prostate cancer screening proponents have been predicting.  

The new investigation, which is the first to find an increase in metastatic cancers, found that both screening and diagnosis of early-stage prostate cancer have declined, coinciding with the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) based prostate cancer screening for healthy men, regardless of age, in 2012. 

Analysis from the study revealed that the annual number of metastatic prostate cancers at first diagnosis rose from 1,685 in 2004 to 2,890 in 2013, a 72 percent increase.  The upturn was even greater among men 55 to 69, the age group believed to benefit most from early detection because of their risk level and life expectancy.  Over the same period, early-stage cancer diagnoses dropped from 25,708 to 16,223, or 37 percent. 

The implications, the study authors wrote, “highlight the need for nationwide refinements in prostate-cancer screening.” 

“If you don’t screen, you don’t detect it” early, said senior author Edward M. Schaeffer, chair of urology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  “This is going to affect mortality rates.  Metastatic disease is incurable.  They will die.” 

At the CyberKnife Center of Chicago, we treat metastatic cancer with the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System®.  CyberKnife is a painless, nonsurgical, outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects.  It is able to deliver very high doses of radiation to metastatic tumors with extreme accuracy, allowing physicians to zero in on the target tumor and irradiate it without harming the healthy surrounding tissue.  As a result, the CyberKnife treatment is more comfortable for patients, radiation is delivered more accurately, and treatments can be completed in one to five sessions.  

If you, or a loved one, have recently been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, knowing your treatment options, including a second opinion, is important.  The CyberKnife Center of Chicago is here to help you in your fight against cancer.  

To learn more about metastatic cancer, and how it is treated with the CyberKnife technology, please click here

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