Some statistics

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) provides these informative summary statistics:
  • What is the chance for a diagnosis of prostate cancer?:
    • for a man in his 40s - 1 in 1000
    • for a man in his 50s - 12 in 1000
    • for a man in his 60s - 45 in 1000
    • for a man in his 70s - 80 in 1000
  • Each year in Australia, close to 3,300 men die of prostate cancer - equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer annually.
  • Around 20,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in Australia every year.
  • Each day about 32 men learn that they have prostate cancer - tragically one man every three hours will lose his battle against this insidious disease.
  • One in 9 men in Australia will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men and is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men.
  • As many men die from prostate cancer as women die from breast cancer but... a national survey by PCFA in 2002 showed that while 78% of women felt well informed about breast cancer – only 52% of men felt informed about prostate cancer.
  • The chance of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older.
  • The chance of developing prostate cancer is higher if there are first-degree male relatives (father or brothers) diagnosed with prostate cancer or if there is a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer.
  • Early, curable prostate cancer may not have symptoms.
  • While younger men are less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, they are more likely to die prematurely from it.
  • Simple testing by a GP can indicate prostate cancer. Early detection can be achieved with PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test or DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) testing. Our research in 2002 shows that only 10% of men surveyed between the ages of 50 and 70 had taken these tests in the previous year.
  • Some groups are at greater risk of prostate cancer. For example:
    • For every 100 men who die of prostate cancer in a metropolitan area of Australia (such as Melbourne or Sydney) 121 men will die in rural Australia. Various factors may include lack of awareness and education about prostate cancer, distance from testing and treatment, poor GP awareness and limited access to specialists (such as urologists).
    • The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia states that veterans have a 53% higher mortality rate from prostate cancer than the average population.
    • A recently published international study showed that firefighters have a 28% higher risk of prostate cancer.
Statistics on the incidence of cancer, deaths from cancer and survival rates for people with various forms of cancer in Australia are available through a number of reports, referred to in captions below as Source 1, Source 2 and Source 3:
  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - 'Cancer in Australia in brief 2010'. Download as a 5.2 MB PDF file from here.
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - 'Australia's health 2010'. Download as a 5.7 MB PDF file from here.
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - 'Australia's health 2010 in brief'. Download as a 2.6 MB PDF file from here.
The following tables and charts which have been extracted from those sources are of particular interest - click on the thumbnail picture to view a larger image:
PCa diagnoses 2007

Numbers of cancers diagnosed in 2007 (p10 Source 1)

Table4_1

Trends in cancers diagnosed 1986 to 2006 (p135 Source 2)

PCa deaths 2007

Numbers of cancer deaths 2007 (p15 Source 1)

Table4_2

Trends in cancer deaths 1987 to 2007 (p137 Source 2)

survival_rates

5-year relative survival rates for cancers (p54 Source 3)

Table4_3

Trends in 5-year relative survival rates for cancers (p138 Source 2)