Statistics and Indicators

Prostate cancer – incidence and mortality

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    • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the ACT. In 2018, there were 275 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in ACT men. The age-standardised incidence rate in 2018 was 138.1 cases per 100,000 males, compared to 146.5 per 100,000 males for Australia in 2017.1
    • In 2017, 46 men who lived in the ACT at the time of their prostate cancer diagnosis died from prostate cancer. In 2017, the age-standardised mortality rate for the ACT was 27 deaths per 100,000 males, compared to 24.8 deaths per 100,000 males for Australia in 2017.1
    • One of the major risk factors for prostate cancer is older age, so the number of men in the ACT with prostate cancer is likely to increase as the proportion of older men in the population grows.
    • An increase in the incidence of prostate cancer was seen in the ACT after Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing was introduced in the late 1980s, but the incidence rate is now lower than that of 20 years ago.
    • Five-year survival from prostate cancer has improved over time, from 72% in the period 1988–1997 to 97% for the period 2008–2017. There were no significant differences in survival for males with prostate cancer under the age of 65 and those aged 65 and over.1-7 The dramatic improvement in prostate cancer survival over time reflects earlier diagnosis and possibly the effect of better treatment.1-7
    • However, there is also evidence that a substantial proportion of prostate cancers which are diagnosed and treated would not have manifested clinically during a patient's lifetime, nor resulted in cancer-related death. This partly reflects the widespread use of PSA testing in men without any symptoms of prostate cancer. Such overdiagnosis and overtreatment contribute to patient anxiety and unnecessary sequelae of treatment, including urinary, bowel and erectile dysfunction, as well as placing additional pressure on health services. 8-10

     

    References

    1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Cancer Data in Australia. Canberra: AIHW; 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia.

    2. ACT Cancer Registry. Canberra: ACT Cancer Registry; 2021 (unpublished data).

    3. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2015-2017. Canberra: ABS; 2019 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12015-2017?OpenDocument=.

    4. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2014-2016. Canberra: ABS; 2018 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12014-2016?OpenDocument=.

    5. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2013-2015. Canberra: ABS; 2017 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12013-2015?OpenDocument=.

    6. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2012-2014. Canberra: ABS; 2016 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12012-2014?OpenDocument=.

    7. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2011-2013. Canberra: ABS; 2015 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12011-2013?OpenDocument=.

    8. Loeb S, Bjurlin MA, Nicholson J, et al. Overdiagnosis and overtreatment of prostate cancer. Eur Urol 2014; 65(6): 1046-1055.

    9. Pathirana T, Hayen A, Doust J, et al. Lifetime risk of prostate cancer overdiagnosis in Australia: quantifying the risk of overdiagnosis associated with prostate cancer screening in Australia using a novel lifetime risk approach. BMJ Open. 2019; 9(3):e022457.

    10. Fenton JJ, Weyrich MS, Durbin S, et al. Prostate-Specific Antigen–Based Screening for Prostate Cancer: Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2018; 319(18):1914–1931.

     

    The authors wish to thank the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the Coroners and the National Coronial Information System for enabling the cause of death unit record file data to be used for this publication.

    To access the data please click on the "View source data" link at the bottom of the visualisation. This link will open up a data table that you can download.