New data reveal that prostate cancer rates are expected to increase by a whopping 43 percent over the next 20 years, with 630,000 men facing twice the average risk due to family history.
The number of men diagnosed is expected to rise from more than 240,000 currently to 372,000 by 2040, according to the research.
More than 24,000 Australian men are likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and more than 3,500 men are expected to die.
The alarming numbers have prompted the Australian Prostate Cancer Foundation to call for more awareness ahead of next month’s The Long Run campaign.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia, but there has been no publicly funded community awareness campaign targeting men at risk, said Foundation chief executive Ann Savage.
“These latest estimates suggest that up to 630,000 Australian males may face twice the average risk of prostate cancer due to their family history of the disease,” she said.
“What we are basically facing is a tidal wave of risks.
“It is imperative that we provide these men and their families with all the information they need to enable early diagnosis and timely treatment.”
The figures were based on the number of Australian men diagnosed with prostate cancer over the past 40 years who may now have male children.
Project team leader MNC Actuaries Joseph Chan said the data would help target men who face higher risks.
“Our team came up with two different approaches to modeling and the results were surprisingly consistent. We didn’t initially guess that the final number would be so high.
“We extrapolated the estimate based on the evidence that men with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer have twice the average risk of developing the disease.
“Men with two or more male relatives diagnosed have a fivefold lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.”
However, the project did not differentiate between levels of risk.
“We calculated by approximating the number of male children born to men with prostate cancer, as well as the number of siblings they had, considering all men diagnosed with prostate cancer who were either alive or dead,” he said.
“For more accuracy, the estimates also allow for a possible number of undiagnosed cases.”
The organizers of The Long Run hope to raise $1.7 million this year.
“We hope to bring people together to save lives,” said Ms. Savage.
Originally Posted as “Tidal wave of danger”: Research reveals a scary warning for men