Academics & Research

Research

Prostate Cancer on the Decline

The incidence of prostate cancer among U.S. men declined by nearly 20 percent beginning in 2011, a study of data from 2007 through 2012 shows. Researchers looked at prostate cancer diagnoses by age, race, stage of the disease and Gleason score–the most common system doctors use to grade prostate cancer cells based on the likelihood that a tumor will spread–and found that the decline in the disease occurred among all age groups of men.

The incidence of low-grade tumors dropped by an estimated 29 percent, while that of high-grade tumors declined by nearly 11 percent. Stage I/II and III tumor incidences went down by 24 percent and almost 17 percent, respectively. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in U.S. men. Beginning in the 1980s, PSA tests became the standard for detecting prostate cancer. The incidence rate peaked in 1992 but has gradually declined since then. In May 2012 the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended against giving PSA tests, citing research showing limited benefits and potential risks associated with prostate cancer screening.